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).


Two Important Workshops Discussed at 2019 Legislative Conference

At the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Legislative Conference this week, union delegates had the opportunity to participate in two breakout sessions, taking a deeper dive into issues affecting working people across Pennsylvania.  The panel discussions connected economic and legislative policies and union-led solutions.  Over the course of 2019, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO will be revisiting these issues, their many facets and their implications for the Commonwealth’s workers. Read More

Are You Next? – The 2019 Legislative Conference

Charting a Course for a Proactive Worker Agenda at the 2019 Legislative Conference On Tuesday, January 29, two hundred union delegates arrived in Harrisburg for the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s Biennial Legislative Conference at the Crowne Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey.  President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder welcomed conference attendees and state legislators at a reception on Monday evening.  At our Legislative Conference, union members in PA came together for one of the first times since the five-weeks-long government shutdown which devastated so many of our brothers and sisters. Read More

Governor Tom Wolf’s Minimum Wage Proposal, A Much-Needed Raise for Pennsylvanians

(HARRISBURG) Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced his proposal to raise wages for working Pennsylvanians.  Starting July 1, 2019, this proposal would raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour, with a 50 cent increase each year until reaching $15 an hour in 2025.   The fight for fair wages has been at the center of the Pennsylvania union movement.  Following the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s 2019 Legislative Conference which focused on charting a proactive worker agenda, the state federation’s officers are proud to stand in support Governor Wolf’s proposed wage raise. Read More