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).

PA AFL-CIO President Testifies Before Congress on Good Union Jobs for Appalachia

On Wednesday, June 16 Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale testified before the House of Representative’s Subcommittee on the Environment. The panel, Jumpstarting Main Street: Bringing Jobs & Wealth Back to Forgotten America, “examined the best ways to target federal infrastructure and climate investments to the most disadvantaged communities.  Read More

Public Sector OSHA Hearing Demonstrates Urgent Need For Change

This week, the Senate Democrat Policy Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 310, Senator Tartaglione’s public sector OSHA legislation. Several union leaders submitted testimony at the hearing in favor of the legislation. Additionally, opponents from the County Commissioners Association of PA and the Pennsylvania School Board Association opened up their remarks with their reasoning why money is more important than human life and safety on the job. Read More

Unions Are Essential To Innovation and the Future of the Workforce

As new technology continues to transform workplaces, workers must be at the table from the very beginning. The union movement will always stand up for workers at the heart of both established and emerging industries.   Today, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and IN-2-Market hosted “A Conversation About the Future of SW PA Manufacturing & Decarbonization Hub.”  Union Read More