Republican Dominated Georgia Senate Bill Seeks To Criminalize Unions That Go On The Picket Line
March 7, 2012
The Republican dominated Senate in Georgia is set to consider a bill that would criminalize union members who engage in picketing.
Picketing is defined as follows:
1. When a person is stationed by a union or the like outside a factory, store, mine, etc., in order to dissuade or prevent workers or customers from entering it during a strike.
2. When a person is engaged in any similar demonstration, as against a government’s policies or actions, before an embassy, office building, construction project, etc.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB 496 would “restrict picketing outside private residences” and would be a misdemeanor offense. The bill “would also require employees to put into writing every year that they want to pay union dues or organizational fees through paycheck deductions.”
GOP Senator Don Balfour says the bill doesn’t violate any rights but Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson opposes the bill and writes that “this bill poses the potential to further overburden an already stressed prison system and would divert badly-needed resources away from protecting Fulton County’s residents. The role of law enforcement shouldn’t be to police free speech but the intent of this bill seems to be just that. By targeting only protests dealing with labor disputes, you are putting police officers in the difficult position of silencing the voices of Georgians and, in the process, setting us up to face potential lawsuits that would ultimately be paid for by taxpayers. Finally, I believe this bill serves no useful purpose in fighting crime.”
Essentially, Republicans are making it a criminal offense to go on strike and protest in front of your employer’s business. This bill represents yet another attack on the labor unions that protect worker rights. Once again, Republicans take the side of business owners over American workers.
Article submitted by Teri PerticoneShare