Cox, Others Unveil Open Workforce Initiative in Harrisburg
HARRISBURG – State Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks) today in Harrisburg unveiled a bill he is contributing toward a package of legislation aimed at empowering workers in Pennsylvania to choose whether or not to join a union where they work.

“To me, this is a fundamental issue of choosing whom to associate with or not associate with on the job,” Cox said. “Forcing workers to join an organization – a union – as part of their employment goes against the basic principles of freedom and liberty upon which our Commonwealth was founded.”

Cox’s legislation – House Bill 53 – would give local government workers a choice as to whether or not they join a union. Under current law, local government workers can be forced to join a union and pay dues in order to receive and keep their jobs.

The Open Workforce Initiative also includes other bills that would:
  • Ensure that employment in Pennsylvania is not conditioned upon membership or non-membership in a union or on the payment or non-payment of money to labor organizations.
  • Give school teachers and other education employees in Pennsylvania the choice as to whether or not to join a union.
  • Give state government workers in Pennsylvania the option to join or not join a union.
  • Ensure that private-sector workers could choose to join or not join a union without fear of losing their jobs.
  • Allow public sector employees to opt out of their union at any time.

“If workers truly want to join their union, then the union bosses have nothing to fear,” Cox said. “However, if workers are being forced to join a union, then we need to change that because I believe we should empower them by giving them choices.”

Representative Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Daniel Massing
717.772.9845 /

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