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).



Our brothers and sisters at the AFT-PA issued a statement on Governor Wolf’s announcement on Charter Schools. Currently, Pennsylvania’s charter school laws are among the worst in the country. Here’s what Arthur Steinberg, newly elected President of AFT-PA representing 36,000 educators across the Commonwealth, has to say about the proposal: P “We are very encouraged by Governor Wolf’s announcement today that he will back legislation to address commonsense charter school reforms in Pennsylvania, including transparency requirements, a cap on cyber charter enrollment and a moratorium on new cyber charter schools. Read More

Union members Welcome Senator Bob Casey to the House of Labor

On Tuesday, August 6, United States Senator and longtime worker advocate Bob Casey met with union members at the AFSCME Conference Center in Harrisburg, PA. Union activists and the senator discussed the issues impacting working people and their families across the Commonwealth. Read More

The Problem with Eugene Scalia

The White House has advanced the appointment of yet another anti-worker corporate lobbyist to oversee policies that impact our workplaces and our paychecks. Eugene Scalia, the son of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has spent his career threatening the interests of workers. Read More