HARRISBURG - Every legislative session for the last 14 years, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has worked the Capitol hallways to make Pennsylvania a "right-to-work" state.
Every time, the conservative Republican has seen his bills languish, not even mustering enough momentum for a committee vote.
"It's an uphill battle," Metcalfe, of Butler County, told The Inquirer on Wednesday. "Like pretty much any issue that threatens the power of the union bosses, it is quickly attacked and stifled."
Others might not use such lively terms for labor leaders and their clout. But the scenario Metcalfe described is unlikely to change anytime soon in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, even after another longtime bastion of organized labor, Michigan, became this week the highest-profile industrial state to let workers opt out of joining unions or paying dues as a condition of employment.
Here's what's going to happen...because it is happening already. More and more states are going to become "Right to Work" states. Pennsylvania and New Jersey will refuse to budge. Fine, because large businesses in both states will set up domicile in those other states. New Jersey and Pennsylvania will follow the financial exploits of states like California because corporate revenues will decrease at an alarming rate. The revenue of the state will take a dip, and the next thing you know there is a deficit that no one can climb out of.Like Michigan, Pennsylvania has a Republican-controlled legislature and governor's office. And like Michigan, Pennsylvania has a storied labor history that has produced financially strong and politically influential unions.
Pennsylvania already got a taste of this back about three decades ago when Mack Trucks moved most of their manufacturing from Allentown, Pa to South Carolina. So these politicians who depend on Union cash for their coffers (both above and below the table) can posture all they want. Soon, manufacturing is going to leave both NJ and PA at an alarming rate.