Letter of Support: Open Workforce Initiative

January 24, 2013

Dear Representative Metcalfe:

On behalf of more than 120,000 activists with Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania, I am writing in strong support of the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative guaranteeing the Right to Work for our citizens.

Twenty-four states have now passed Right to Work laws guaranteeing workers the right to join or not to join a union. Their decision not to join cannot be used as precondition in order to get the job. Pennsylvania is one of four states in the country with a Republican Governor and legislature that has not passed this vital piece of legislation. In fact, it has not even been brought to a floor for a vote. The people of Pennsylvania by a large majority support this vital change that will bring opportunity and job growth to our state.

Right to Work states weathered the recession the best and have seen the most job growth and the most growth in wages.  According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Right to Work states over the last decade saw personal incomes grow over 19% versus 10.7 percent in non-Right to Work states. The population in Right to Work states has grown 9.2% faster than union shop states over the same time period. Real gross domestic product has grown 7.7% faster. Perhaps most revealing, Right to Work states created 997,800 new private sector jobs in the past decade, while union shop states lost 2,294,000.

In addition to preventing unions from making membership a pre-condition of employment, the Pennsylvania Open Workforce Initiative is also slated to include legislation to prevent unions from collecting compulsory dues from non-union state, local and public school employees, and to allow public and private sector union members to opt-out of their membership at any time. These are vital reforms needed to ensure all our citizens constitutionally protected right to freedom of association.

The time has come for guaranteeing the Right to Work in Pennsylvania. If Michigan, the home to the United Autoworkers Union, can pass Right to Work, it can pass in here. To borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton, the era of Union control over our state legislature and economy is over. Let’s restore freedom to our citizens and unshackle our economy by guaranteeing the right to work to all.


Jennifer Stefano
State Director
Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania

To view the co-sponsorship memorandum click here.

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