Resolution No. 28: Power to the People: Political action committees aid in worker power, and are essential for the future of the labor movement

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WHEREAS, the first political action committee was established by workers and their unions in 1943, under the name CIO-PAC, the Congress of Industrial Workers’ Political Action Committee; and

WHEREAS, then-President of the CIO, Philip Murray, who later became the first president of the United Steelworkers Union, recommended the formation of this permanent political structure within the house of labor; and 

WHEREAS, workers’ voluntary contributions to CIO-PAC helped solidify a permanent fixture within the labor movement that would focus on organizing workers in the electoral process, financial support for pro-labor candidates, and fomenting a strategy for advancing worker-first legislation in Congress; and 

WHEREAS, workers’ efforts in the electoral and legislative processes led to the passage of the Wagner Act, also known as the National Labor Relations Act, which established the right of private sector workers to organize unions, and engage in collective bargaining with their employers; and 

WHEREAS, the rapid unionization of workers following the Wagner Act led to the birth of the American middle class, and the rapid passage of other pro-worker laws, including a ban on child labor, the establishment of the 8-hour work day, the founding of Social Security and Medicare, safety standards, unemployment insurance, and more; and

WHEREAS, workers and their unions continued to build power, which led to the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and the establishment of political action committees by affiliated unions, including the United Steelworkers’ Political Action Committee (USW PAC), nearly 70 years ago; and

WHEREAS, USW PAC is the backbone of our union’s efforts in local, state and federal elections, providing the resources for member education, electoral organizing, and the backing of pro-worker, pro-union candidates.


  1.  The USW believes that our impact in the political arena is central to our efforts to improve the lives of our members and families. 
  2. The USW reaffirms its belief that our impact on elections and lawmaking depends upon maintaining a strong, member-supported political action committee, USW PAC. 
  3. The USW is committed to fostering a conversation within our union to help Steelworkers understand our vital role in the electoral and legislative processes. 
  4. The USW pledges to focus our efforts over the coming years on increasing member contributions to USW PAC, and aiding USW districts and locals in their efforts to negotiate contract language that will provide for members’ direct payroll contributions to USW PAC. 
  5. The USW pledges to encourage members, from every sector of our union, to contribute to USW PAC at every opportunity, including direct conversations, local union meetings, and district conferences.

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