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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Labor Union Fist

President Rick Bloomingdale Speaks on Post-Janus, Pro-Union Legislation

Representative Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, was joined by House and Senate colleagues and union officials at a Capitol news conference to promote her and Representative Tom Mehaffie’s Workplace Freedom Act (H.B. 2606). This legislation attempts to stem the assault on working people by strengthening the opportunity for them to form unions and stick together. Read More
The Real Minimum Wage

Statewide Raise in Minimum Wage Urged by Activists at Lehigh County Government Center

In Allentown on Wednesday, Labor Leaders, Representative Pete Schweyer and community members from the Raise the Wage Pennsylvania and the CLEAR Coalition gathered at the Lehigh County Government Center to demand the General Assembly raise the state’s minimum wage.  Pennsylvania is surrounded by states that ALL have raised their minimum wage in recent years, while our Commonwealth has not seen a raise in more than a decade.  Read More
Capitol Building 2

Call to Action: Anti-Worker Legislation to Be Heard Monday in the House L&I Committee

The Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee, chaired by Representative Kauffman, will be considering a series of anti-worker, anti-union bills on Monday, September 24.  These bills range from pre-empting local government policies, attacking prevailing wage, and a post-Janus attack on public sector unions. Read More