HARRISBURG – Highlighting a special state criminal code exception for business management and labor unions in the Commonwealth, the House voted to prohibit stalking, harassment and threats of violence for everyone, House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said today.
By a vote of 109-84, House Bill 874
passed the House and heads to the Senate for consideration.
“Without exception, stalking, harassment or intimidation is wrong and should never be tolerated – especially in law,” Reed said. “The majority of business managers and workers work together honorably and effectively, yet the laws of this state should protect all Pennsylvanians from stalking or threats of harm.”
Currently, Pennsylvania’s criminal code, Title 18, exempts management and organized labor from prosecution for harrassment, stalking and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction. It is illegal to call in a bomb scare, or stalk people or their kids, except if the caller or stalker is involved in a labor dispute.
This exception was brought to light last year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested 10 members of Philadelphia Ironworkers Local 401, including union leadership, for aiding racketeering and arson, and indicted them under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
According to the indictment, union members repeatedly threatened non-union construction employers with violence unless they hired a certain amount of union members. The indictment noted violence was “deeply ingrained in the structure of their organization.” Federal prosecutors brought charges against 12 members of Philadelphia Ironworkers Local 401, and most pled guilty before trial.
“It’s unfortunate, but by allowing intimidation, such as harassment, stalking and threats of violence in state law, it took the FBI and United State Attorneys to charge and prosecute under the federal law the criminal actions of some members of Philadelphia Ironworkers,” Reed said.
Representative Dave Reed
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Stephen Miskin
717-705-7173 (Office) 717-756-3936 (Cell)