A group of Republican legislators in the state House of Representatives have unveiled a package of bills that would allow Pennsylvania workers to opt out of joining a union.
Under the Open Workforce Initiative, state and local government workers, school teachers, and private-sector employees could not be forced to join a union and pay dues in order to receive and keep their jobs.
Public sector employees could opt out of their union at any time.
One of the prime sponsors of the legislation, Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks), said forcing workers to join a union as part of their employment goes against the basic principles of freedom and liberty.
"If workers truly want to join their union, then the union bosses have nothing to fear," Representative Jim Cox (R-Berks) 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."
Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania, one of several groups supporting the measure, said 24 states have right-to-work laws that give workers the choice as to whether or not they join a union.
The organization said right-to-work states weathered the recession the best and have seen the most job growth and the most growth in wages.