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).

 

UNITE HERE Releases Report Showing Income Disparity Between Black and White Baristas

We all know that the best way to combat discrimination and inequality in the workplace is with a union contract. We fight for a voice on the job and the ability to build a good life for ourselves and our families. Read More

AFT Demands Infrastructure Investment, Safe Schools

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is proud to stand with unions across the Commonwealth to demand an end to Toxic Schools. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten published the following AFT Voices editorial in support of PA’s #FundOurFacilities Coalition: “Every day I go to school, I feel like I’m in a prison or a junkyard,” wrote one fourth-grader. Read More

PRO Act Passes U.S. House 223-193

This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2474, Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). This is the most significant and advancing piece of Labor Law Reform legislation to move in decades. The PRO Act would: Repeal right to work laws; Provide for first contract arbitration; Speed up elections; Stronger remedies for violations, including civil penalties (up to $50k) Ban permanent replacement of strikers; Permit secondary picketing; Card Check as a remedy for employer interference; Ban Captive Audience meetings; and, Narrow the definition of supervisor and close the independent contractor loophole. Read More