Under legislation introduced by state Sen. Don Balfour, the former could result in a $1,000 fine. And the latter? Well, that could get you charged with a felony. Yes, despite the fact that Georgia has some of the weakest labor laws and lowest union memberships in the country, the Snellville Republicans wants to further clamp down on the organizations. And it looks like the Occupy movement won’t get a pass either.
Balfour’s Senate Bill 496 would, among other things, add “private residences” to the list of places where “mass picketing” about a labor dispute would be verboten. The legislation would also allow businesses to ask a judge to halt the protests. If the picketing continues, protesters could be slapped with a $1,000 fine. In addition, any union or organization which “continues to sponsor or assist in the prohibited activity” would be subject to $10,000 fine. Businesses which think they suffered damage from the picketing could ask for a cut of that cash.
Speight notes that the bill’s sponsors are affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a free-market organization that’s been accused of championing anti-labor policies. Speight thinks the bill exhibits telltale signs of being “template legislation” that such groups typically hand off to state lawmakers throughout the country to change policy.