Happy Valentine's Day: Unions Exempted From Anti-Stalking Laws
I wasn’t aware of this, but according to Americans for Tax Reform unions in several states have managed to get themselves exempted from anti-stalking laws.
Every state has made stalking a crime. These laws help protect people who might otherwise live in fear. Yet labor unions have successfully, and disconcertingly, lobbied to be exempt from anti-stalking laws in at least four states – California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Nevada.
“The most glaring examples of union favoritism under state laws,” notes a 2012 U.S. Chamber of Commerce report, “tend to occur in criminal statutes and allow individuals who engage in truly objectionable behavior to avoid prosecution solely because they are participating in some form of labor activity.”
Pennsylvania unions now enjoy a loophole that the state’s anti-stalking law “shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute.” In Illinois, anti-stalking laws exempt “any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits … the making of collective bargaining agreements.”
California’s anti-stalking law states: “Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.”
But, subsection (i) states, “This section shall not apply to conduct that occurs during labor picketing.”
There’s no distinction in the law between activities that might be considered 1st amendment protected protest and acts of intimidation or violence. Meaning that, under this law, union thugs under the guise of labor picketing could follow, harass and perhaps even assault members of management or so-called “scab” workers.
That’s a little scary. It’s amazing to me that these exemptions ever would have been created in the first place.