Outrageous Little-Known PA Law Shields Unions From Stalking, Harassment Charges
We heard an unbelievable story on Fox and Friends this morning about a Pennsylvania businesswoman who says she has been repeatedly harassed by union workers. And because of a little-known state law from the 1930s, nothing can be done about the menacing tactics.
The dispute between Sarina Rose and local Philadelphia union members started when her employer, Post Bros., hired some non-union workers to build apartments. The company refused to hire an all-union labor force for the job, and the resulting dispute led to daily protests at the site by union workers.
Rose says non-union workers were routinely harassed on their way to and from work and their vehicles were damaged as the behavior became more and more violent.
"In a couple of incidents, guys were chased with crowbars. Some were actually hit," she explained to Steve Doocy this morning. But prosecutors are handcuffed by a clause in state law that protects parties in labor disputes from charges of stalking, harassment, and terroristic threats.
Rose said that many lawmakers she has spoken to about the exemption are "perplexed" about it.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, charges were filed after an incident between Rose and a union leader named Edward Sweeney, but the judge had to find Sweeney not guilty based on the law. Ten members of the ironworkers union, including Sweeney, are now facing federal charges.
More of the most OUTRAGEOUS from Fox News:
State Sen. Ron Miller (R) has introduced a bill that would get rid of this exemption. Read more below from the Inquirer report and watch the interview with Rose above.
"This measure was introduced at the height of the New Deal in the '30s," Miller said. "We might be the only state to still have an exception like this."
Others, including the state's nonunion builders associations, have lined up behind Miller's efforts in the wake of the federal ironworkers case.
Even the AFL-CIO has raised only a tepid defense. At a hearing in Harrisburg last August, Frank Snyder, the labor organization's secretary-treasurer, told members of the House Judiciary Committee that he worried the exemption could shield employers who harassed union employees.
"I myself have been stalked, harassed, experienced property damage . . .. and my hotel room broken into on different occasions," Snyder said Wednesday. "Both parties should be held to the same standard."
Miller's bill has languished since receiving committee approval in October. Its critics maintain that no arcane state law would prevent a court from convicting in a clearly criminal case.
"I've arrested members of a union, and we've prosecuted them in Delaware County," State Rep. Joseph T. Hackett (R., Delaware), a former county detective, said at the August hearing. "This whole law where they are immune from certain prosecutions was really a shock to me when I first saw it."