How Unions Carried Pennsylvania’s 18th District — and Why the DNC Should Be Paying Attention

By Richard L. Trumka and Rick Bloomingdale

Rep.-elect Conor Lamb made national waves with an improbable win last week in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He faced down $10 million in outside money funneled to his opponent by corporate and right-wing interests. He fought through a barrage of incessant, hyper-partisan attacks blanketing the airwaves. He was abandoned by his own party’s national infrastructure in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in nearly 15 years. And he still came out on top.

It wasn’t because of some stale advice whispered into his ear by an overpaid consultant. He doesn’t owe this victory to super PACs or corporate donations. It certainly wasn’t thanks to the Democratic Party establishment — it’s still finding its way out of an agenda and message that failed to resonate with working people in 2016.

The fact is: Working people and the power of a union-run, member-to-member campaign are what carried the 18th District.

This election came down to a fight between our grassroots labor coalition and state Rep. Rick Saccone’s corporate-funded, RNC-managed smear campaign. The outcome proved what we already knew: The path to power runs through the labor movement.

Conor will be settling into a new office in Washington because he proudly stood with unions in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Read the full post at Medium.

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Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Human Service Workers at Persad Center Vote to Join the USW

From the USW

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, voted last week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 24 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last month and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“We care about our work and the communities we serve,” said Johanna Smith, Persad’s Development, Communications, and Events Associate. “We strongly believe this work and our connections to our clients will only improve now that we will be represented by a union.”

The Persad workers join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Their membership is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage LGBTQ+ members and improve contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“Workplaces are changing and evolving, and the labor movement is changing and evolving along with that,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as the USW Health Care Workers Council. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to diversify our great union while uplifting and empowering a group of workers who give their all for others.”

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work