Fiedler, Pisciottano ‘Right to Organize’ bill clears House Labor & Industry Committee

HARRISBURG, May 1 – Legislation (H.B. 950) introduced by state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., and Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, which would give Pennsylvania workers the right to organize, was reported out of the House Labor and Industry Committee today.

Currently, the Pennsylvania constitution does not guarantee workers the right to organize and collectively bargain. This legislation proposes to amend Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution to enshrine these rights for all workers in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the bill would prohibit any other laws that may interfere with or diminish collective bargaining rights.

Fiedler said that the passage of H.B. 950 is a step in the right direction for Pennsylvania workers.

“Workers fuel our economy. They are the mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles of our commonwealth,” Fiedler said. “Workers deserve to be treated with respect and that’s exactly the goal of this legislation. The Workers’ Rights Amendment will support workers in using their numbers to secure better pay, hours and working conditions.”

Fiedler and Pisciottano believe that workplace organizing should be a right, but anti-union employers routinely threaten and scare workers in anti-union workplace seminars, bombard workers with anti-union literature, and bring in consultants that use surveillance technology to sniff out the organizers and fire them.

Under the proposed constitutional amendment, Pennsylvania workers who want to explore joining a union would be protected, and future laws that seek to silence workers and obstruct their attempts to make a better life for themselves and their families can be prevented.

Pisciottano said the state must protect fundamental rights for Pennsylvania’s workers.

“We must cement the right for workers to strike and collectively bargain in the Pennsylvania Constitution,” said Pisciottano. “Worker solidarity has resulted in tremendous improvements to working conditions and made life better for families in Pennsylvania. We must protect these fundamental rights in every way possible.”

H.B. 950 was voted out of committee 12-9 and will now move to the House floor for a future vote.