On Monday, September 23, the State's General Assembly returns to complete its session. There are many issue of the Governor's pro-business, pro-corporate agenda that were left unfinished, much of it thanks to the efforts of organized labor and its allies.
According to the Patriot-News, the major issues will be Liquor Privatization, Pension Reform and Transportation Funding. Lottery privatization is sure to also see some legislative action, and other anti-worker legislation is sure to come up in committee. The State AFL-CIO has a list of ways one can take action in the weeks to come. One immediate concern is the Governor's Medicaid plan. Though a report surfaced that the Governor may accept expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Later research showed the plan to be a giveaway to private insurance companies, and include a work-search requirement. The State AFL-CIO urges members to send the Governor a message to back real Medicaid reform!
While the State House and Senate were resting, Rick Smith, the host of the Rick Smith Show took his program on the road. Doing a "People's Tour of America". Stops on the tour included California, Missouri, Arkansas, and Michigan. The tour attracted the attention of the Teamsters, of which Rick Smith is a member. Who did a write-up of the tour in their magazine.
On Friday, September 20, the State AFL-CIO announced its nominees for the "Hall of Shame", designed to call attention to members of the General Assembly who have worked to undermine workers and their interests. The list of nominees can be found here. The 'winners' will be announced in two weeks.
The week of the 7th-14th, Unions across the Commonwealth took part in "Pennsylvania Wants to Work Week". Local councils from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia took part in activities designed to build ties between labor and the community. Preliminary reports are available here.