Appearing on Wednesday’s Dom Giordano Show, State Representative Mike Vereb compared union workers to those who participated in Monday’s riot in Baltimore. In the middle of the interview, Dom Giordano switched topics and asked Representative Vereb about legislation that would curb a union’s ability to demonstrate outside a business owners place of residence or follow the owner when he travels outside of the company’s location. The Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania’s American Legislative Exchange Council oriented think-tank, has been pursuing this attack on speech for a few years, and last year’s infamous arson incident with the Philadelphia Ironworkers, Local 401, has given the right-wing ample opportunity to ratchet their continual attack.
Is having a bunch of bull collar workers follow their bosses around or protest outside their place of residence during a labor dispute or inflating a large rat and picket outside a company that uses non-union scabs off the cuff to many? Probably. But many would probably consider following a public official around town or picketing outside of the residence over a disagreement is a lot more direct than calling their secretaries. What happened last year with the Philadelphia Ironworkers was illegal and they were convicted of arson and other accounts. Taking the rhetoric one step further, radio show host – and someone who benefited from working in a unionized environment as a professor at the Community College of Philadelphia – Dom Giordano said that he has seen video of local union members stalking, harassing and “threatening to use weapons of mass destruction” against business owners. On a sidebar here, I did not realize that WMD’s are easy to come by in today’s world. Giordano goes on to ask Vereb “so as I understand it, you guys are trying to close those loopholes? Right?”
Vereb responds with:
Yes. A bill was sent over to the senate and the Senate passed language over tossed last year. There’ll be a resolution for that. The language that the Senate has seems to have everybody on board. Unfortunately, that eye of labor is a bad eye. It’s a bad eye with the DNC coming in, with the papal visit, and if you talk to the average building trade leader here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. They dont want to take those tactics. You know. They inflate their rats or they do whatever they do. But destructing property in Baltimore style tactics is just not something any of us want and I think that legislation will ultimately be sent to the governor.
Again. The justice system worked. A union leader and members were tried and convicted of arson and the Ironworker’s president is facing at least 8 years in prison. This is an attempt to curb the freedom of speech of working people.
You can listen to the back and forth between Dom Giordano and Mike Vereb here, and you can listen to Rick Smith talk to Abe Amoros, the political director for Pennsylvania Laborers International Union.