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PA House Approves Removing Labor Dispute Exemption From Anti-Harassment Law

(Credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Allegations of violence by union members have fueled action in the state House on a bill to eliminate an exemption from the state’s anti-harassment law for people involved in labor disputes.

Steve Miskin, spokesman for the Republican majority leader, says there’s one big reason the House this past week approved a bill eliminating an exemption from the law against harassment and stalking for both unions and management.

“The federal charges,” Miskin says, “and the indictment of the Philadelphia-area ironworkers definitely jump-started passage of this legislation.”

Miskin notes that one of the men charged in the ironworkers case recently used the exemption in the law to beat harassment charges. But Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale sees potential for abuse, if the exemption is removed.

“Because the definitions of stalking and harassment are so broad,” he says.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where a spokesman for the majority leader says it is an “important issue” for many members.

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