Submitted by Tim Reams, Penn State University
To kick off the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s 43rd Constitutional Convention, Governor Tom Wolf addressed the delegates and attendees with deep gratitude and thanks for an endorsement for his 2018 re-election campaign for Governor from the PA AFL-CIO. With a track record of being openly pro-labor in his policies, Governor Wolf was introduced by PA AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, who cited the Governor’s dedication to working-class families and the Labor movement. Governor Wolf added a strong message of dedication to fighting for Organized Labor in Pennsylvania with promises to fight for public sector unions in the legislature and to undeniably veto any ‘Right-to-Work’ legislation brought to his desk if re-elected.
In addition, Governor Wolf noted political trends throughout our democracy that are both notable and critical for Pennsylvania organized labor and working families looking ahead. With an upset victory of only 700 votes, future congressman Conor Lamb pulled off a stunning upset in against an extremely anti-labor candidate in Western Pennsylvania, and Governor Wolf emphasized the tangible difference organized labor can have for these consequential elections and policies, and the rest of the country is taking notice of these powerful victories. Governor Wolf didn’t shy away from other critical current issues for workers, and specifically condemned the Janus v. AFSCME case. Wolf has a strong track record of support and solidarity for the Janus case and called for safe and fair work for organized labor, including brothers and sisters in the public sector.
Governor Wolf honed in on other key issues and noted that the attacks on public sector unions will only lead to a path where private sector unions are at risk, as well as our overall democracy. With an emphasis on unity and democracy for working families and the Labor Movement, Governor Wolf garnered the support of the convention delegates.
Official Statement of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf addressed the delegates and guests. He received a standing ovation after vowing to veto any ‘right-to-work’ legislation, should it come before him. “We have got to stand up and actually make the case that [right-to-work legislation] doesn’t make any sense. It’s not just wrong, it’s stupid, really, really stupid”. He called the Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31 case, an assault not only on public-sector unions but on democracy itself.
President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder made the following joint statement –
“For the past three years, Governor Tom Wolf has been a true friend and partner to Pennsylvania’s working people. The Officers and Vice-Presidents of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO are proud to endorse Governor Tom Wolf for a second term. We look forward to continuing to work with him to advance economic justice, workplace safety and dignity for the next four years. The Labor movement is energized and committed to electing candidates who are as dedicated to the values of fairness, equality, and respect, as we are.”
The Executive Council of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO endorsed Governor Tom Wolf for reelection at its Executive Council meeting on Monday, April 9.