HARRISBURG (March 13, 2014) – The members of the Pennsylvania chapter of
the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) applauded state House
passage of a measure that would close a loophole in the criminal code that
allows parties involved in a labor dispute to stalk, harass or threaten to use
a weapon of mass destruction. House Bill 1154, sponsored by state Rep. Ron
Miller (R-York), passed the House 115-74. The measure now will be sent to the state
Senate for consideration.
“Over the last few months, state lawmakers heard harrowing testimony from
small-business owners who were shot at, threatened and had their worksites
damaged by explosions and arson,” said NFIB Executive State Director Kevin Shivers.
“Lawmakers heard about children being followed and videotaped at their bus
stops or sports events. They listened to stories about neighbors receiving
flyers on their doorsteps, tacks left in private driveways to flatten tires,
vandalism and verbal abuse.
“In the post-9-11 world, it’s hard to fathom that anyone would be exempt
from the state’s criminal laws against stalking, harassment and threatening to use
a weapon of mass destruction. But a decades-old state
law shields labor activists when these tactics and deadly threats occur during
a labor dispute.
“The labor-violence loophole in our criminal code perpetuates
a state of unrest in the Pennsylvania workplace. Thankfully, a majority of
state House members saw fit to change that. . NFIB appreciates the work by
state reps. Ron Miller, House Labor and Industry Chairman Mario Scavello
(R-Monroe) and Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) for their leadership
to pass this important reform. NFIB
members urge its consideration by the state Senate.”
Recently the U.S.
Attorney’s office indicted ten union members in Philadelphia for an alleged
pattern of criminal behavior against companies that weren’t using union labor.
One of the victims in the case is a small-business owner and NFIB member who
was building a Quaker Meeting House in Philadelphia. His worksite was vandalized, steel beams were
cut with a torch and his crane was set on fire.
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