October News Letter from I/O
PROACT

  • The PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act is a generational opportunity and the cornerstone of the AFL-CIO’s Workers First Agenda.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed the PRO Act in 2020, but an anti-worker majority blocked it in the Senate.

  • The PRO Act motivated us this past election cycle to mobilize for a pro-worker trifecta in the U.S. House, Senate and White House.

  • Working people won a mandate.

  • America must build back better with unions by ensuring passage of the PRO Act:

    • Reintroducing the PRO Act, passing it in both chambers of Congress, and getting President Biden's signature will increase worker power, rebuild our economy fairly and grow America’s labor movement.

 

 


 

Our woefully outdated labor laws are no longer effective as a means for working people to have our voices heard.

  • Inequality has skyrocketed because union membership has dwindled and policymakers have failed to pass pro-worker labor laws.

  • The stated purpose of the National Labor Relations Act is to encourage collective bargaining, but nearly every amendment to the law—most egregiously the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act—has made it more difficult for workers to form unions. 

  • Anti-worker judges also have tried to whittle away what is left of our rights.

  • The PRO Act will change the power dynamics in America and give working people a real say in our future.

 

The PRO Act is the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression because it will:

  • Empower workers to exercise our freedom to organize and bargain. 

  • Ensure that workers can reach a first contract quickly after a union is recognized.

  • End employers’ practice of punishing striking workers by hiring permanent replacements. Speaking up for labor rights is within every worker’s rights—and workers shouldn’t lose our jobs for it.

  • Hold corporations accountable by strengthening the National Labor Relations Board and allowing it to penalize employers who retaliate against working people in support of the union or collective bargaining.

  • Repeal “right to work” laws—divisive and racist laws created during the Jim Crow era—that lead to lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces.

  • Create pathways for workers to form unions, without fear, in newer industries like Big Tech.

 

The PRO Act will make America’s economy work for working people.

  • When union membership is greater, our wages are better.

    • Between 1948 and 1973, when New Deal era laws expanded and enforced collective bargaining, hourly wages rose by more than 90%.

    • But over the next 40 years—from 1973 to 2013—hourly wages rose by just over 9% while productivity increased 74%.

      • As it is, workers are not getting paid a fair share of what we produce.

 

The PRO Act is more than labor law reform, it’s civil rights legislation.

  • A union contract is the single best tool we have to close racial and gender wage gaps, and to ensure dignity and due process for workers, regardless of where we were born, who we are or what industry we work in.

  • Removing barriers to organizing and bargaining is important for all workers, especially those who have been marginalized.

  • Expanding collective bargaining will increase protections for women, people of color, immigrants and the LGBTQ community in areas where our laws are still falling short. 

 

Workers in America favor unions and tens of millions want to join one.

  • Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows nearly 60 million people would vote to join a union today if given the opportunity.

    • That is nearly half of nonunion workers.

  • Union density rose in 2020 amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and the failed federal response to it.

  • Gallup found that union approval stands at 65%, one of the highest marks in a half-century.

 

This is just the first step of the Workers First Agenda.

  • Working people elected pro-worker candidates on Election Day, including the most pro-worker president in recent history. Now we need to win our Workers First Agenda.

  • As a candidate, President Biden pledged to sign the PRO Act into law.

    • After he was elected, Biden said, “Unions are going to have increased power.” As the president put it, worker power is “not anti-business. It's about creating economic growth [and] creating good-paying jobs.” 

  • Lawmakers gave us their word that the PRO Act would be a top priority. Now it is time for action.

  • The PRO Act is how our laws catch up, with workers embracing collective action with a fervor not seen in generations. 

May Newsletter from I/O

Click here to view

https://bit.ly/3cHO4z5

 

2021 Allegheny-Fayette Labor Council Endorsed Candidates

MAYOR OF PITTSBURGH - BILL PEDUTO

PA Supreme Court: Maria McLaughlin

Superior Court: Timika Lane

Commonwealth Court:

Amanda Green-Hawkins
David Spurgeon

Pittsburgh City Council:
District 2: Theresa Kail-Smith
District 4: Anthony Coghill
District 6: Daniel Lavelle
District 8: Erika Strassburger

County Sheriff: Kevin Kraus

County Council:
District 4: Patrick Catena
District 12: Bob Palmosina

Court of Common Pleas:
Bruce Beemer
Bill Caye
Jessel Costa
Elliot Howsie
Dan Konieczka
Sabrina Korbel
Zeke Rediker
Albert Veverka
Chelsa Wagner

Pittsburgh School Board:
District 1: Sylvia C. Wilson

District Magistrates:
Richard Opeila 05-2-02
Anthony Deluca 05-2-06
Roxanne Eichler 05-2-11
Ralph Kaiser 05-2-18
Ronald Arnoni 05-2-20
Anthony Ceoffe 05-3-10
Craig Stephens 05-2-22
James Motznik 05-2-38
Derwin Rushing 05-2-40
Scott Schricker 05-2-47
Tom Swan 05-3-04
Thomas Miller 05-3-05
Armand Martin 05-3-09
Kevin Cooper 05-3-12
Maureen McGraw-Desmet 05-2-21
David Barton 05-2-17
Mark Scorpion 05-2-42
Hilary Taylor 05-2-19
Nick Martini 05-3-13

The American Jobs Plan

The American Jobs Plan FACTSHEET
•    It will invest about 1 percent of GDP per year over eight years;
•    In total, the plan will invest about $2 trillion this decade;
•    If passed alongside President Biden’s Made in America corporate tax plan, it will be 
fully paid for within the next 15 years and reduce deficits in the years after;
•     Made in America Tax Plan to make sure corporations pay their fair share in taxes and 
encourage job creation at home.


Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems.
•     20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main-streets;
•     Ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction;
•     Repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges;
•     Replace thousands of buses and rail cars, repair hundreds of stations, renew 
airports, and expand transit and rail into new communities.

Deliver clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans.
•     Eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in our drinking water systems;
•     Put hundreds of thousands of people to work laying thousands of miles of 
transmission lines and capping hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells and mines;
•     Bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American, including the 
more than 35 percent of rural Americans who lack access.

Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings, modernize our 
nation’s schools and child care facilities, and upgrade veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings.
•     Create good jobs;
•     Building, rehabilitating, and retrofitting affordable, accessible, energy efficient, 
and resilient housing, commercial buildings, schools, and child care facilities;
•     Improving our nation’s federal facilities.

Solidify the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for 
essential home care workers.
•     Substantial investments in the infrastructure of our care economy, starting by 
creating new and better jobs for caregiving workers;
•     Provide home and community-based care for individuals who otherwise would need to 
wait.

Revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the 
jobs of the future

Create good-quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces while ensuring 
workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their 
employers
•     Require that goods are made in America and shipped on U.S.-crewed vessels;
•     Ensure that Americans who have endured systemic discrimination and exclusion have a 
good paying jobs and being part of a union.

Biden Signs Executive Order Killing Schedule F, Restoring Collective Bargaining Rights

Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Biden signed an executive order Friday afternoon rescinding a series of orders issued by former President Trump aimed at gutting federal employee unions and stripping federal workers of their civil service protections.

The Trump administration was aggressive in its approach to the federal workforce, and labor groups in particular. In 2018, Trump signed a series of executive orders seeking to make it easier to fire federal workers, streamline labor-management negotiations and restrict the scope of collective bargaining, and severely restricting the use of official time.

And last fall, Trump signed an executive order establishing a new job classification within the government’s career civil service called Schedule F for “employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making or policy-advocating positions,” and calling on agencies to identify and convert eligible employees to the new classification.

Click here to read the full story.

PA, AFL-CIO: The Workers' Week in PA - Janus v. AFSCME Actions: February 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Supreme Court will soon hear a case that will have a big impact on our voice at work. That's why working people across the country are making a clear stand to keep the freedoms that we've fought for.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, there will be a day of action, with local events happening coast to coast, to defend our voice on the job and demand an end to an economy designed to favor the rich and powerful on the backs of working families.

Corporate lobbyists and special interest groups are bringing a case against working people, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, to the Supreme Court. These are the same extremist voices that actively work to limit voting rights, roll back economic protections, and gut civil and labor rights laws. They're ratcheting up their fight to break us up because they know we are strongest together.

Below you will find locations closest to Pittsburgh, PA

Monday, February 26th:

Conor Lamb Plans to Make Unions A Central Focus of His Campaign in #PA18 Special Election: January 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

HOUSTON, PENNSYLVANIA- In a populist appeal to union members, Conor Lamb says that he intends to focus his campaign for the March 13th Pennsylvania 18th Congressional special election on labor issues.

While touring the district, Lamb has told audiences that he intends to make protecting organized labor a central issue of his campaign in a district that contains 70,000 union members, nearly a quarter of all voters.

“People in unions deserve the same level of respect that we give people in uniform because of how hard they have worked and all they have done,” the 33-year-old former Marine told workers at the Canonsburg VFW Hall on Saturday.

Previously, Republican Congressman Tim Murphy had been able to win the election in the district by embracing issues such as prevailing wage, collective bargaining rights, and helping seek injunctive relief.  As a result, Murphy was often able to secure the endorsements of several local unions in the district during his re-election bids while keeping other unions that would normally oppose him neutral.

A key to Murphy’s 12-year political survival in a district that contains 70,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans was that he would regularly attend union events while accounting for the concerns of some union leaders.

By Mike Elk of paydayreport.com

Continue reading...

Comments of the IBEW, Local 29 in Support of the Proposed Resiliency Rule: October 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Secretary of the Commission

888 First Street, NE

Washington, DC 20426

Re: Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule

FERC Docket No. RM18-1-000

COMMENTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, LOCAL UNION 29 IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED RESILIENCY RULE

On September 28, 2017, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued the “Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule” (the “Proposal”) directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to adopt a rule requiring operators of organized markets to “ensure that certain reliability and resiliency attributes of electric generation sources are fully valued.” Such a rule, as contemplated by the regulatory language of the Proposal, will ensure that existing nuclear and coal-fired electric generating stations in Pennsylvania will be compensated appropriately and fully for their costs of operation and will avoid premature retirement. Adoption of that rule will thus sustain the long-term viability of critical power plants, preserve and create jobs, maintain electric reliability, and provide substantial economic benefits to the many hard-working Americans living throughout the region. 

IBEW Local 29 strongly supports the Proposal and shares the Secretary’s urgency that FERC act promptly to direct operators of organized markets to issue the requested rule. FERC has the ability to act, and must act, without undue delay to avoid premature closure of crucial power plants and our members’ loss of critical economic and reliability benefits. FERC has thoroughly examined how electric markets function and how those markets affect the continued operation of crucial power plants needed for reliability for some time. FERC has the requisite basis to act now. There is no time for delay. In addition to acting promptly, FERC should also direct organized market operators to issue a comprehensive and enduring set of rules, based on the regulatory language of the Proposal, for the proper compensation of critical power plants. Protracted proceedings undertaken by organized market operators that fail to develop fair, compensatory and transparent rules will only engender market uncertainty and delay in providing sufficient compensation to these facilities, thereby jeopardizing the operation of the very plants that the DOE seeks to maintain in operation. 

I. COMMUNICATIONS

All communications, correspondence, and documents related to this proceeding should be directed to the following person: 

Kenn Bradley

Business Mgr. 

IBEW Local 29

986 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220

412-922-6969

kbradley@ibew29.org

II. DESCRIPTION OF IBEW LOCAL 29

IBEW Local 29 is a progressive labor organization that represents individuals in the Utility, and Generation industries.

III. DESCRIPTION OF IBEW LOCAL 29’S INTEREST IN PROCEEDING

IBEW Local 29 is a party to collective bargaining agreements with the owners of baseload coal and nuclear power plants located in Pennsylvania. As a result, the wages, terms, and conditions of employment of its members may be directly affected by the actions taken by the FERC and operators of organized markets in this proceeding. Thus, IBEW Local 29 members have a direct and substantial interest in this proceeding. As well, the unique perspective of IBEW Local 29 and its members will only serve to enhance the record in this proceeding.

IV. COMMENTS

 The communities where struggling baseload coal and nuclear power plants are located are dependent on the jobs and economic development opportunities the power plants provide.   The recent decline in Pennsylvania’s electric power industry, for example, has led to reductions in operations and capital improvement expenditures at numerous power production and manufacturing facilities across Pennsylvania. This has led to extreme hardship for the thousands of union workers employed in this industry as well as their families.

It is imperative that baseload coal and nuclear plants continue to operate in light of these dire circumstances. Baseload coal and nuclear plants in Pennsylvania provide thousands of MWs of reliable power and provide union jobs and economic opportunities to IBEW Local 29 members. The Beaver Valley, Cheswick, and Brunot Island generation stations directly employ approximately 500 IBEW Local 29 members, and the maintenance and capital improvement work on these plants supports the local economy by creating thousands of well-paying union jobs for contractors. In addition, these plants contribute millions each year in state and local tax revenues that support local schools, police and fire departments and other vital public services.  The loss of jobs, tax revenue, and the ripple effect of such losses throughout the local economy, will have a severely detrimental impact on the region.

The issuance of a rule preserving the continued operation of resilient baseload coal and nuclear power plants will maintain a reliable supply of electricity for the region’s energy-intensive economy in two ways. First, the preservation of certain plants will avoid the need to replace lost generation with imports and the associated construction of infrastructure to facilitate such importation. Preserving baseload coal and nuclear power plants will keep these needed, reliable facilities running close to home without the need to depend on distant resources, particularly during catastrophic events like severe storms, to fulfill our region’s dynamic need for reliable electricity.

Second, premature plant closures will deplete the stable of highly skilled (and specifically trained and experienced) employees, many of whom have lived in the region for several years and who take great pride in their work. With a depletion of this skilled and experienced group of workers, and the possible replacement of these workers with more distant and perhaps less-skilled individuals, we will see a direct and adverse impact on our ability to maintain the generation facilities that continue to operate and, as important, our ability to respond promptly to severe contingencies affecting the operation of these remaining plants in operation. In short, allowing baseload coal and nuclear power plants to close prematurely will have an adverse impact on the reliability of the region’s electricity supply and on the reliable operation of the regional electricity system.

Rates for the sale of electricity that are inadequate to sustain the operation of baseload generation facilities that provide reliability and resiliency support cannot be considered to be just and reasonable.  Because of the loss of jobs, the significant reduction in payments to local governments, and the decline in electricity resource and grid reliability that would result from deactivation of the nuclear and coal-fired generating facilities in Ohio, it is essential that the FERC adopt a rule, such as that proposed by DOE, which will ensure that such generating facilities are fully compensated for their costs and will remain in operation.  

In order to mitigate the risk that such generating units may be deactivated prematurely, IBEW Local 29 strongly urges FERC to adopt the rule proposed by the DOE as promptly and comprehensively as possible. FERC has a sufficient record to act that will be further bolstered by the comments considered in this proceeding. FERC has thoroughly considered the impact of electric markets on the sustained operation of at-risk power plants and, as noted by the Secretary of the DOE, the time to act is now given the severe impacts to system reliability and resilience, and national security, attendant to the premature closure of crucial power plants. Any protracted delay in creating fully compensatory market rules will only exacerbate the problem of pre-mature closures. 

In acting promptly, FERC should also direct the organized market operators to issue a rule that is not only compensatory (and based on the regulatory language of the Proposal) but comprehensive and enduring. The rules to be issued by operators of organized markets should be fair and transparent and should ensure that critical power plants can continue to operate for the long-term and without the prospect of repeated re-examination and adjustment to their market compensation. The uncertainty that less than comprehensive and enduring market rules will engender will defeat the very purpose of preserving the extended operation of these much-needed power plants.

Respectfully submitted, 

Kenn Bradley

Business Manager 

IBEW Local 29

Cap lifted on worker's compensation partial disability benefits: October 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

All Pennsylvania State Local Unions: Elections have consequences. This was never more evident than in the recent Protz v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board decision handed down from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. With this decision, we were able to lift the cap on worker’s compensation partial disability benefits. This decision lifted the old cap of 500 weeks for a partially disabled worker. The court has ruled that the effects of a workplace injury can be longer lasting than the 500-week cap allowed for. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the labor-friendly Supreme Court Justices who currently reside on the PA Supreme Court.

As the upcoming election approaches, we have an opportunity to ensure more favorable decisions like this by electing more labor-friendly candidates. The deadline for registration is OCTOBER 10, 2017. Members and their families can go to Votespa.com to register.

In solidarity,

Kris Anderson

Pennsylvania State Legislative and Political Coordinator

New Green Deal falls short: March 2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

Dear Senator Markey and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez:

The Honorable Edward Markey

255 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

U.S. Representative

229 Cannon House Office Building

20510 Washington, D.C. 20515

As Congress considers a variety of potential actions to address climate change, it is critical that the voices of American workers be included in the discussion, especially those who are most at risk of job disruptions and economic dislocation as a result of those actions. All policymakers must fully engage labor in the deep discussion needed to understand our views on these critical sectors and the jobs of our members.

America’s labor unions agree that climate change must be addressed, and we agree on the need to invest in the development and deployment of technologies like solar, wind, nuclear, hydro-electric, carbon capture and utilization, battery storage, and high-speed rail that limit or eliminate carbon emissions. We know that the increase in natural gas production has lowered emissions in the power sector and provided a new source of construction and manufacturing jobs. We must invest in energy efficiency in the industrial and commercial sectors, retrofits and upgrades to schools and public buildings, and to make our communities safe and resilient. All of these investments must be paired with strong labor and procurement standards to grow family-sustaining, middle-class union jobs.

The fact is that the labor movement has been working on these very issues for decades, and have advanced several potential solutions over that time that could provide a basis for solid, realistic action.

We welcome the call for labor rights and dialogue with labor, but the Green New Deal resolution is far too short on specific solutions that speak to the jobs of our members and the critical sectors of our economy. It is not rooted in an engineering-based approach and makes promises that are not achievable or realistic. The Honorable Edward Markey and The Honorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez March 8, 2019

We will not accept proposals that could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families. We will not stand by and allow threats to our members’ jobs and their families’ standard of living go unanswered.

We are ready to discuss these issues in a responsible way, for we all recognize that doing nothing is not an option. We want to engage on climate issues in a manner that does not impinge on enacting other labor priorities, especially much-needed infrastructure legislation. As key specialists in jobs touching every facet of the energy and industrial sectors, we have much to add to this discussion and look forward to working with lawmakers from both parties to address this critical issue.

Cecil E. Roberts

International President

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)

Lonnie R. Stephenson

International President

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA!) United Association (UA)

United Steelworkers (USW)

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) Ironworkers (IW)

Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU)

IBEW UMWA Letter on Climate Change: February 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

On behalf of the active members and retirees of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), we are writing in regards to possible federal legislation on climate change.

The working men and women of the IBEW and the UMWA are at the center of America's energy production, distribution, and maintenance. We are committed to providing safe, resilient and reliable energy to keep our nation's communities safe and prosperous. As such, we are vitally interested in the current debate about the most appropriate response to climate change. We agree on the need for a constructive and achievable legislative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We believe this would be best pursued through a nationwide program that encourages energy efficiency, the development of advanced technologies, protection of existing jobs, and the creation of new jobs across the energy, industrial and transportation sectors.

At the same time, we are deeply concerned about the potential adverse impacts of certain policy proposals that would severely reduce, if not outright eliminate, our nation's fossil fuel energy sector. There is simply no realistic prospect for a "just transition" that could meaningfully offset the loss of well over one million skilled, high-paying jobs with good benefits in the electric utility, oil and gas, rail, and coal sectors.

We would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Committee's development of climate legislation. Enclosed is a position paper on climate policy developed by the IBEW, UMWA and five other national labor unions representing workers in the electric utility, construction, and rail transportation sectors. We request that this letter and its attachment be included in the official record of the Committee's February 6 hearing on "Time for Action: Addressing the Environmental & Economic Effects of Climate Change."

Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr. Honorable Greg Walden Page Two

We hope that the suggested principles set forth in the attached paper will be helpful to your work. Sincerely,

Lonnie R. Stephenson

International President

International Brotherhood of

Electrical Workers

Cecil E. Roberts

International President

United Mine Workers of America

 

Preliminary Labor Positions on Climate Change Legislation

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the design of a new federal climate change policy. Unions have participated in all major climate legislative developments since the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and were involved in the drafting of the CCS technology and other provisions of the 2009 Waxman-Markey climate bill. Labor also supported the bipartisan Bingaman-Specter climate bill introduced in the Senate in 2007.

We have consistently advocated for a comprehensive, economy-wide legislative solution to climate change because the Clean Air Act is not an appropriate vehicle for addressing the multi-sector emission reductions or aggressive technology incentives needed to meet climate targets. The legislation also is essential for crafting appropriate worker adjustment assistance programs to address job displacement impacting families and communities.

We are concerned about the adverse job implications of potential carbon tax legislation. Carbon taxes create inherent uncertainties about market responses, differential sectoral impacts, and the lack of assurance that advanced emission mitigation technologies such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) could be deployed in time to avert massive dislocation of workers in the petroleum, coal, rail, and mining sectors. Any carbon tax legislation necessarily must include significant revenue set-asides for worker adjustment and community redevelopment assistance. More than 1.5 million workers are directly employed in vulnerable fossil fuel-related industries, with annual wages and benefits of some $130 Billion. Many more indirect jobs are in support industries and communities.

We also have grave concerns about unrealistic solutions such as those advocated in the “Green New Deal” and by proponents of the “Keep It in the Ground” ideology. Any legislation addressing the complex issues of carbon emission reduction must recognize and address: a) the tremendous impact such legislation will have on millions of fossil fuel-reliant jobs across America; and b) the costs and full recompense required to mitigate the effects of the loss of those jobs on workers, families, and communities.

Principles for Carbon Legislation

We view an emission allowance trading program such as that developed in the 2009 Waxman- Markey bill as a good starting point for discussions about future climate legislation. Improving upon that bill could offer strong technology incentives while delivering significant longer-term emission reductions.

We offer the following principles to aid in the design of comprehensive, economy-wide climate legislation:

  • All major emitting sectors (utilities, industrial, transportation) should be covered by a national emission allowance trading program based on an upstream allocation of allowances (i.e., to utility generating units, gas pipelines, oil refineries, etc.)
  • An initial first phase cap should not be imposed sooner than 10 years following enactment of legislation, to allow adequate time for compliance planning and investments in controls, including enhanced private and federal investments in CCUS technologies needed for both coal and natural gas at utility and industrial plants.
  • We support the development of a bonus allowance program similar to that employed in Waxman-Markey to encourage deployment of advanced CCUS technologies at new and retrofit coal and natural gas-fueled plants. Bonus allowances would complement the tax incentives for CCUS that Congress recently enacted in 45Q legislation, enhancing the prospects for the application of advanced CCUS technologies.
  • Analyses by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency concluded that the aggressive global emission reductions envisioned by the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without widespread application of CCUS technologies in developed and developing nations, for all fossil fuels used by both the power generation and energy-intensive industrial sectors.
  • Each sector covered by the legislation should have its own cap, measured in tons of CO2 or by emissions efficiency measures such as grams of CO2 per mile for the vehicle fleet. The transportation sector is now the largest source of CO2 emissions, so an aggressive program of reductions would be needed to meet targets such as those envisioned by the Paris Agreement.
  • The rate of decline for any cap (sectoral or national) needs to be assessed in light of the cost and availability of technologies for reducing CO2. In the case of electric utilities, a longer time frame for reductions can be justified based on the need for accelerated commercial demonstration and deployment of CCUS technologies. The transportation sector also requires long lead-times due to the gradual rollover of vehicle fleets.
  • DOE's current projections of sectoral CO2 emissions from 2017 to 2050 show the increasing importance of addressing emissions from the industrial sector, and the preponderance of future emissions from petroleum and natural gas sources:

 

  • A single federal trading program with an aggregate cap based on sectoral emissions reductions is preferable to state-by-state caps. Interstate trading of emission allowances should be allowed.
  • Emission allowances should be distributed without cost to emitting entities, similar to the Title IV acid rain program. Free allowances should be distributed based on formulae incorporating historical heat input data.
  • We oppose allowance auctions as they constitute a form of double taxation on emitting sectors: first, compliance must be achieved through investments in control measures, and second, allowances must be purchased through an auction system. An auction-based program is simply a carbon tax in disguise, subsidizing renewables and other zero - or low-emitting sources.
  • Maintaining fuel diversity among fossil, nuclear, and renewable resources is the key to a resilient electrical grid, and to the political and economic viability of national climate change legislation.
  • The fewest possible limitations should be placed on emission banking and borrowing to reduce overall compliance costs. Similarly, a broad variety of domestic and international offsets should be available, including initiatives to help reduce deforestation.
  • The DOE Fossil Energy budget must be dramatically expanded to accelerate the development and commercialization of second-generation CCUS technologies.
  • Regardless of the form of national climate legislation, workers in adversely impacted industries must be assured of a robust package of compensation with comparable retirement and health care benefits coupled to expanded worker retraining and similar transition programs.
The Trump Administration has Failed American Workers: October 2020

As a candidate, Donald Trump said he would put American workers first, but as President, he has undermined workers' rights, made workers less safe on the job and made it harder for working families to get ahead. The Trump Administration has time and again placed the interests of corporations and the wealthy ahead of the interests of working men and women.

Harm to Workers' Pocketbooks

  •  Derailed a pre-existing rule expanding overtime pay protections and replaced it with a watered-down substitute preferred by employers, resulting in over 3 million fewer workers being able to earn overtime pay, including roughly 125,000 in Pennsylvania.
     
  • Eliminated workers' tax deduction for union dues and out-of-pocket costs for tools, travel, uniforms and job search expenses while slashing taxes for large corporations and the wealthy in the 2017 Republican tax bill signed into law by Donald Trump.
     
  • Attempted to implement a rule that would have allowed employers to pocket workers' tips and which could have cost workers billions per year in lost wages.
     
  • Took no action to raise minimum wage and workers are now experiencing the longest gap between federal minimum wage increases since its creation.
     
  • Gave large profitable corporations an obscene tax cut without requiring companies increase worker wages. Companies used their Trump tax windfall for over $1 trillion in stock buybacks -- the equivalent of $6,000 for every worker in America.

Failure to Respond to COVID-19

  • Refused to issue Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Emergency Temporary Standards that would put in place enforceable safety standards to protect workers at risk of exposure to the virus.
     
  • Lack of a coordinated federal response has left many workers struggling to access needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and worsened the human and economic toll of the virus unnecessarily.

Assault on Workers' Rights

  • Appointed an anti-worker National Labor Relations Board majority that is systematically weakening workers' rights by, for example, making it easier to misclassify workers as independent contractors, constraining how workers can organize and protest and giving employers more unilateral power in bargaining.
     
  • Made it easier for companies to hide anti-union legal activities by rescinding the Department of Labor's Persuader Rule that would have required employers and their hired consultants to report behind the scenes anti-union actions.
     
  • Issued rules enabling large corporations to avoid responsibility for workers' treatment including Department of Labor rules that would make it easier to classify workers as independent contractors and that would make it harder to hold companies liable for violations of wage and hour laws by franchisees and contractors.
     
  • Relentlessly undermined federal workers' rights by severely restricting union representatives' ability to advocate for their workers and negotiate on their behalf.

Weakening of Critical Safety Standards

  • Eliminated regulation requiring many employers to submit workplace injury and illness information to OSHA to publish online, making it more difficult to identify injury trends and helping employers avoid accountability.
     
  • Delayed or halted multiple critical safety regulations and reversed a ban on toxic agricultural pesticides that pose a threat to farm workers' health.
     
  • Allowed companies breaking labor laws to get federal contracts by eliminating the Fair Pay Safe Workplaces regulation that was put in place to prevent contractors who repeatedly violate workplace laws from getting federal business .
     
  • Decreased workplace safety inspections and allowed the number of OSHA inspectors to fall to the lowest level in 45 years.

Appointment of Anti-Labor Judges

  • Appointed two judges to Supreme Court creating a pro-corporate majority that has already stripped public-sector unions of their ability to collect fair share fees in Janus v. AFSCME and allowed employers to force mandatory arbitration agreements on workers in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, in addition to other anti-worker rulings.
     
  • Gave judges with anti-labor records lifetime appointments throughout the federal judiciary and relied on anti-worker organizations like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, which has referred to unions as "cartels," to put forward judicial nominees.

 

Bottom line: Donald Trump is a corporate President, plain and simple.
Corporate interests will next challenge the right to organize a union.

Stop The Attacks on Pennsylvania's Middle Class!: January 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Out-of-state corporate interests and their allies want to weaken the middle class by singling out unions and denying our voice on the job. Their proposals will silence teachers, firefighters, nurses, police officers and many other working Pennsylvanians.

Call your state senator today at 888-584-6114 and tell him or her to oppose efforts to limit workers’ right to freely bargain—defeat SB 1034 and 1191.

Call your state representative today at 877-972-4473 and tell him or her to oppose efforts to limit workers’ right to freely bargain—defeat HB 1507 and 1860.

Working Pennsylvanians and our unions already are working to solve real problems, such as the need to create jobs, repair roads, improve schools and keep our families safe and healthy. Tell your representative to focus on the real issues important to middle-class Pennsylvanians, not political attacks on working people.

For more information contact IBEW 29 at 412-922-6969 or the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO at 717-238-9351.

What Was Old Is New Again - Redistricting Deemed: January 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In an unprecedented decision Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the reapportionment plan for State Legislative Districts, declaring that redrawn districts for the State House and State Senate were “contrary to law.”

In a 4-3 decision, the justices voted to send the plan back to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. The court also ordered that if a new plan cannot be adopted in time, the current district lines will be applied to the 2012 elections for the Pennsylvania Legislature. The order has shaken plans by candidates and parties for this year’s General Assembly races.

The plan had been opposed by State Senate Democrats and others, who argued that there was not sufficient reason to split counties and towns, and that decisions were overly driven by political considerations. 

The high court will be releasing a full opinion in the coming weeks.

To read the order issued by the State Supreme Court, click here.

Rally at Beaver Court House to Support Keeping BVPS Running - Sept 20th: September 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

In efforts to kick-off the fall legislative efforts in Harrisburg, Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania and BVMatters are holding a rally for Beaver Valley Power Station in front of the Beaver County Courthouse This Friday, September 20th at 11am.  This is excellent opportunity for us, the employees of Beaver Valley, to demonstrate the importance of Beaver Valley to our communities and the state, in our own backyard!

In support of this effort, site leadership has called for all non-essential personnel (ie. those not supporting minimum shift manning or immediate plant needs, as determined by leadership), who wish to support, to be dismissed at 10am on Friday to attend the rally and show our support for our plant! The rally will last 30-45 minutes, and will include appearances by plant personnel, union leaders, community leaders, and state legislators.  It is expected that various media outlets will cover the event, and so your support is critical to demonstrating just how important we are!

We are expecting a large crowd in front of the courthouse, and yes that’s a good thing!  Parking in Beaver is available on side streets in every direction.  Employees are encouraged to car pool wherever possible, and to encourage their family and friends to attend as well!

The rally will last 30-45 minutes, and will include appearances by plant personnel, union leaders, community leaders, and state legislators.  It is expected that various media outlets will cover the event, and so your support is critical to demonstrating just how important we are!

Please help support the future of Beaver Valley by attending, ready to be loud and excited about our plant!

Photo by: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission [Public domain]

We Ask That You Oppose HB 1234: December 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019

Dear Representative:

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, on behalf of the 700,000 hardworking women and men we represent, asks that you OPPOSE HB 1234.

HB 1234 seeks to amend Section 319 of the Workers’ Compensation (WC) Act in liability and compensation, further providing for the definitions of "injury,", "personal injury" and "injury arising in the course of his employment," providing for diseases with long latency periods between occupational exposure and manifestation of the disease and further providing for liability.

It is our belief that the Bill in its original state did not go far enough. It placed an undue burden on WC claimants to prove that their occupational disease has a latency period. Forcing a victim of the workplace to meet a higher burden of proof while still being limited to an artificial capitation of wage loss benefits is just wrong. Amendments to the Bill that would have corrected these problems were proposed and rejected.

For these reasons, we are asking that you please OPPOSE HB 1234. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the president’s office at 717-231-2840.

Sincerely,

Rick Bloomingdale, President

Frank Snyder, Secretary-Treasurer

Vice President Joe Biden's Position on Utility Issues: October 2020

Friday, October 23, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

On behalf of I.P. Lonnie Stephenson, the Utility Department is providing the attached message below:

In just over a week I.B.E.W. members have an opportunity to elect a president who will stand by our side and fight with us to restore a country ravaged by an ongoing pandemic and economic devastation.  Joe Biden served as vice president for Barack Obama, helping take the United States from the depths of a recession and job loss to a historic streak of prosperity and economic growth.  Once again, Joe Biden has a plan to get the country on the right track, to create tens of thousands of new jobs by rebuilding our electricity grid, roads, rail lines and other transportation networks.  He plans to increase broadband capacity and invest in advanced nuclear technologies, battery storage and carbon capture and sequestration, all while strictly enforcing prevailing wage laws, workplace protections and supporting the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively.  Biden also has a detailed plan, with significant input from the I.B.E.W. and organized labor, to invest in America’s ingenuity and reinvigorate our manufacturing sector.  He recognizes that given the chance, it is working families who will once again build America back stronger than ever before.

How you vote is a personal decision, but the I.B.E.W. has carefully reviewed Joe Biden’s record and because of his strong support for labor throughout his entire career, the I.B.E.W. made the decision to endorse him in February.  Joe Biden is a man of decency and good character who knows the challenges faced by working families.  He listens to, and is shaped by, the counsel of others.

If you have not done so yet, please take the time to vote.  Help your families and friends to do so as well.  The enclosed fliers can be downloaded and printed for distribution at www.ibew.org/political/Release2020.org.  The consequences of this election are stark.  Your vote for Joe Biden is a vote for brotherhood, unity, recovery, and optimism for the future.

Fraternally,

I.B.E.W. Utility Department

Statements from Trumka & Kelly on USMCA Trade Agreement: December 2019

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Please read both of the below statements regarding the USMCA Trade Agreement, thank you.

After many rounds of negotiations, and tireless support from allies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sens. Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden, I’m writing to tell you that the AFL-CIO is endorsing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

We knew this deal was too important to get wrong or be rushed. In the face of pressure, working people persevered, winning truly enforceable labor standards and an elimination of special carve outs for big corporations. Also, the USMCA now closes loopholes designed to make it harder to prosecute labor violations.

The USMCA is far from perfect. It alone is not a solution for outsourcing, inequality or climate change. Successfully tackling these issues requires a full-court press of economic policies that empower workers, including the repeal of tax cuts which reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas.

But there is no denying that the trade rules in America will now be fairer because of our hard work and perseverance. More than 16,000 of you signed our petition to tell Congress that we deserve a trade deal that works for all of us.

In Solidarity,

Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

----------------------------

Labor Council President Darrin Kelly Statement on USMCA 

Kelly: "Leaders in organized labor and our allies in Congress demanded a deal that puts workers 

first, and they stayed at the table until we got the unprecedented labor and enforcement provisions 

we have today. " 

PITTSBURGH, PA - Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council President Darrin Kelly released the following statement after today's announcement regarding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). 

Statement from President Darrin Kelly, 

"Today's announcement shows what we can accomplish when workers have a seat at the table and an opportunity to make our voices heard. President Trump's initial USMCA proposal looked like just another bad trade deal that would benefit big corporations and hurt American workers. But leaders in organized labor and our allies in Congress demanded a deal that puts workers first, and they stayed at the table until we got the unprecedented labor and enforcement provisions we have today. 

"The Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council thanks our national and state labor leaders and elected officials, including Reps. Mike Doyle and Conor Lamb, for staying engaged with our members throughout this process, making our voices heard, and refusing to budge when it comes to protecting our workers and our jobs. 

"This process is far from over. We will continue to review the agreement and get feedback from our members, but it is clear that these enforcement provisions represent a first step in the right direction." 

Stand with musicians! - Send a letter to Disney now!: November 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) are fighting to secure a fair contract with major Hollywood film and TV companies, led by the Walt Disney Co. As Disney makes billions in profits, it refuses to pay musicians fairly, resulting in a 75% pay cut on all work done for its new streaming service, Disney Plus.

We need your help: Tell top Disney executives that it’s time to pay musicians and bargain a fair and just contract! Hardworking musicians are being driven from their profession, all because Disney won’t share a small piece of the wealth.

Send a letter to Disney executives now.

Congress May Vote to Extend the Pay Freeze This Week: March 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

The IBEW represents thousands of federal employees who work at our National Parks, printing press techs at Government Printing Office, electricians at the White House and at Naval Shipyards.  These members have endured two years of frozen pay, cuts to benefits, and layoffs. Congress is considering extending the federal pay freeze by a year. There is still time to speak out on the issue. Please call your representatives and tell them say NO to a federal pay freeze extension. The members of Congress can be reached using the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Thank you for taking action.

Urgent Action! State Senate Employing Dirty Tricks To Attack Unions: October 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Last night, for the second time this session, the State Senate suspended the rules of their chamber to engage in a late night debacle over amendments attacking union members.  Going well past the 11pm deadline that was established in response to the infamous ‘midnight pay raise,’ the Senate continued debate until after 1:30am.  All of this was part of an attempt by Senator Wagner and his Tea Party cronies to bully Senate leadership into considering union-busting “Paycheck Protection” legislation.
E-Mail Your Senator NOW! 

An urgent alert that we sent out last night resulted in thousands of e-mails flooding the State Senate by the time they finally adjourned.  Today is the final scheduled session day for the State Senate prior to the November election, and we expect Wagner to attempt to introduce his amendment once again today.

To be clear, this is merely a new vehicle for the same attack on unions that we have been fighting together all year – an effort to block the ability of unions to collect dues, so that they will be unable to effectively represent their members, or fight further anti-union legislation.  Groups like the ultra-conservative and anti-union Commonwealth Foundation have openly discussed how Paycheck Protection legislation is nothing but a means to ultimately pass “Right-to-Work” in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania citizens deserve better than a Senate that suspends their own rules to attack workers while they sleep.  E-mail your Senator today, tell them what you think about their late-night shenanigans, and tell them to reject Scott Wagner and his extreme ideological attacks on workers.
E-Mail Your Senator NOW!

Stop Right-To-Work In Pennsylvania: January 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

In 2013, union members in Pennsylvania stood together to defeat some of the most direct attacks we have ever faced.  Repeated efforts to privatize public services, destroy retirement security, and gut prevailing wage laws were held back.

Now, in an election year with everything at stake, huge money interests from outside of Pennsylvania are putting everything they have into making our Commonwealth the next “Right to Work” state.  Their aim is clear, to bankrupt unions so that there will no longer be any organized opposition to the blatant attacks on working families that they plan.

E-Mail Your State Legislators Now!  Tell Them NO WAY On HB 1507!

House Bill 1507 is what ALEC and the Koch brothers call a “Paycheck Protection” bill.  They have already been targeting direct mail into the state to spread lies in support of this bill, claiming that taxpayers are paying for union dues collection for public employees, and that teachers and state workers are forced to contribute to political and legislative activism.

The facts are clear, even though you won’t hear them in the commercials that the Koch brothers are financing.  Automatic payroll deduction of dues is not mandated by any law, rather it is bargained for during contract negotiations.  This deduction does not cost taxpayers money.  Unions already agreed to reimburse the state for costs associated with deductions of PAC funds, but according to the State of Pennsylvania, there is no measurable cost to be reimbursed.

While the reasons that the other side gives for pushing this legislation are dishonest, their true goal is obvious.  It’s simple.  This legislation would force unions to spend resources to collect union dues, and make it nearly impossible to collect the fair share fees that non-members must pay to cover their union representation.  At the end of the day that means unions will be weakened, and have less ability to advocate for employees in the workplace and in the legislature.  This would open the flood gates for a wide range of anti-worker legislation that would be sure to follow.

There is no doubt that the passage of HB 1507 would mean that Pennsylvania would become the next right to work state.  Don’t be silent on this issue.  We expect this bill to move very quickly, with significant resources flooding into Pennsylvania to back this latest attack on the middle class.

E-Mail Your State Legislators Now!  Tell Them NO WAY On HB 1507!

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruled Unconstitutional: January 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

After more than 18 months of legal challenges, two trials, and a series of temporary injunctions, the Commonwealth Court today struck down Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law as unconstitutional.  While the Commonwealth may still appeal this ruling to the State Supreme Court, Judge McGinley’s decision is a significant victory for voting rights in Pennsylvania.  READ MORE.

Urgent Action! Fight Back Against Union-Busting In Pennsylvania

In 2013, union members in Pennsylvania stood together to defeat some of the most direct attacks we have ever faced.  Repeated efforts to privatize public services, destroy retirement security, and gut prevailing wage laws were held back.

Now, in an election year with everything at stake, huge money interests from outside of Pennsylvania are putting everything they have into making our Commonwealth the next “Right to Work” state.  Their aim is clear, to bankrupt unions so that there will no longer be any organized opposition to the blatant attacks on working families that they plan.  READ MORE

Please share this story with your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers and encourage them to take action as well!

Capitol Press Conference On January 28 Opposing HB 1507

The anti-labor extremists and their big money which is pouring into Pennsylvania has awoken the entire labor movement, and we have never been more united than we are on this issue.  Join the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and our affiliates in Harrisburg on Tuesday, January 28th at 10am in the Capitol Rotunda, and send a message to Governor Corbett and the State Legislature, that labor unions are HERE TO STAY in Pennsylvania!

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday is our national holiday honoring the legacy and life's work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  His legacy is one that recognized the unique role that organized labor has had in lifting people out of poverty in this country.  As we celebrate Dr. King, let us also remember his words and aspire to make sure they always ring true, "The Labor Movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress."

In August, labor activists at our annual COPE Conference celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom by recording a tribute to Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech, CLICK HERE to watch it now!

Does Labors Endorsement Matter? Yes It Does: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder express their gratitude to all union activists and labor leaders who helped 86% of our endorsed candidates win Tuesday’s primary election.

Congressman Mark Critz faced a very difficult primary battle in the redrawn 12th Congressional district, but was able to prevail. “In a redrawn district that favored Congressman Altmire, Congressman Critz entered the race as the underdog,” President Bloomingdale explained. “But the Labor  movement came together as one, working a strong member-to-member program, helping Congressman Critz close the gap,” Bloomingdale said. 

“In the last several weeks we heard ‘do labor endorsements matter?’  This election proves that they do. Working people are determined and motivated to elect leaders who they can trust to lead and represent their interests in Washington and Harrisburg,” Secretary-Treasurer Snyder added.
   
The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO also congratulates card-carrying union member Ed Neilson, from IBEW Local 98, who was elected in yesterday’s special election for the 169th District of the State House of Representatives.

Yesterday’s Primary Election is the first step in the process of electing  more pro-worker leaders to Washington and Harrisburg and in re-electing, AFL-CIO endorsed, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in November.

“Today is a new day and a new beginning in building an even stronger, more effective mobilization and education program, that gives working families the voice they need and deserve in our State and across the Nation” Bloomingdale said. 

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