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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Janus v. AFSCME and the Freedom to Join a Union

Unions are required by law to represent and negotiate on behalf of all workers in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether the individuals are dues-paying members.  In states with fair share fees, like Pennsylvania, public employees who benefit from collective bargaining agreements, union-negotiated benefits, and retirement and receive union representation in the disciplinary process, pay a fee for that representation and administration.  Read More
Education

Senate Bill 2 – Compromising Education for Public School Students

An education is a constitutionally protected right in Pennsylvania. According to our state Constitution: “The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” Unfortunately, this week Senate Bill 2 passed out of the Senate Education Committee.  Read More
Workers Compensation

Attacks on Workers’ Compensation

Our state’s workers’ compensation system is a bargain between working people, their employers and the Commonwealth.  Working people have relinquished there ability to sue employers if they are injured on the job, while employers and the state ensure that injured workers are fairly compensated and receive proper medical treatment. Read More