Legislation & Policy

The basic workplace rights that Americans enjoy today have been championed by organized labor for more than 100 years.

Without the political efforts of unions, American workers would not have a right to a minimum wage, a forty-hour week, overtime pay, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, or the right to form and join unions. Unions have been at the forefront of the fight to make workplaces safer and to ensure that no one will be discriminated against at work because of their race, ethnicity, or gender.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO remains politically active because there are organized interests in Pennsylvania and the United States that want to dilute or eliminate the rights workers have established over the last century of struggle.

The PA AFL-CIO participates in politics in three ways:

  • First, at election time, the PA AFL-CIO endorses candidates for public office at all levels who pledge to support working families.
  • Second, the PA AFL-CIO monitors legislative politics in Harrisburg and Washington D.C. and speaks out against initiatives that will harm workers’ and their families. This legislative work is carried out according to an agenda adopted at the PA AFL-CIO’s biannual convention by the elected representatives of rank-and-file workers. The PA AFL-CIO often works closely with other advocacy organizations to advance a common progressive agenda.
  • Third, the PA-AFL-CIO conducts political education and training programs for its members through the work of its Committee on Political Education (COPE).

 

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Today could have been the beginning of 2019’s second federal government shutdown.  The historic and devastating 35-day federal shutdown which came to a temporary truce between Congress and the White House last month continues to have long-reaching and life-changing effects on federal workers and their families. Read More

Who Are Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Workers?

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By the Numbers: What a $15 an hour minimum wage means in Pennsylvania

Last week, Governor Tom Wolf previewed a key part of his 2019 budget plan; a $12/hour minimum wage starting on July 1, 2019, with a 50 cent increase every year until 2025.  All of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states have raised their minimum wage, while our Commonwealth has neglected to take any action.  2,004,000 The number of Pennsylvanians that would get a raise if the minimum wage were $15/an hour.  That’s one in three workers across our state.  Pennsylvania has long struggled with raising revenue to support basic services; but by raising wages we lift people out of financial depression and poverty, create stronger communities and alleviate dependence on assistance. Read More