AUGUST 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News
Pennsylvania gubernational campaign getting underway for labor community
BY PAUL TUCKER
REGION, July 20th- The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg and affiliated members of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg along with nonaffiliated labor organizations such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union, are beginning to prepare to energize their members in a attempt to defeat Incumbent Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett in the November election.
The labor community has put a high priority on defeating Mr. Corbett in 2014.
The labor community, including those that supported other Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania’s primary election in May, have been endorsing Democratic nominee York businessman Tom Wolf. Mr. Wolf defeated three other Democrats that were seeking their party’s nomination for Pennsylvania Governor that wanted the chance to deny Mr. Corbett a second four-year term as Pennsylvania’s governor.
The majority of the labor organizations that made endorsements for the primary election supported Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord. However, many within the labor community, including the AFL-CIO, did not support any of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination deciding to wait and support the primary winner.
The two largest public sector labor organizations that endorsed Mr. McCord for the spring election have since announced they will support Mr. Wolf for the November election.
The Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union Council 13 voted to endorse Mr. Wolf only days after the primary election.
Mr. Wolf has made it clear if elected he would support issues important to the labor community including: improving oversight of charter and cyber charter schools; protect the right of workers to unionize and collectively bargain; veto any legislation that restricts the rights of workers, including repealing the agency fee, doing away with union dues deduction, eliminating the right of school employees to strike, and any change to the prevailing wage law.
Frank Sirianni, President of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council, a statewide federation of construction trade unions’, stated the organization unanimously voted to endorse Mr. Wolf on June 30th.
“Our members, who are employed in virtually every community of Pennsylvania by more than 3,500 construction contractors and subcontractors, have spoken and they have told us with a forceful clarity that Tom Wolf represents a shining voice in the battle to make our Commonwealth’s government responsive to the hopes, needs and aspirations of working people in Pennsylvania.
Tom Wolf is a voice of welcoming reason who knows, first and foremost, that strengthening our communities, assuring a family sustaining wage for working families, focusing on access to health care for all Pennsylvanians, rationally protecting our resources, fairly securing our economy and enhancing the quality of education for our children are the keys to the return of fairness and progress in our society,” Mr. Sirianni said.
The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) District Council of Western Pennsylvania and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 154 have endorsed Mr. Corbett despite being considered to be one of or the most anti-union governors in Pennsylvania’s history.