Blog Post

Bob Casey – a champion for working families!  

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) has consistently fought for pro-worker bills in the  United States Senate, earning a nearly perfect 99% lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO for  his votes standing up for working people, unions, and our rights to organize and go on  strike.  

Throughout his three terms, Casey has fought to protect Pennsylvania’s steel industry  and the good union jobs it creates, and helped create family-sustaining jobs and foster  financial security for Pennsylvania families through large federal investments in  infrastructure, efforts to lower costs, and local communities.

“I’ve delivered for workers in this state, and I’ve had their back.”

–Senator Bob Casey

Protecting workers’ rights

Sen. Casey is a cosponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act ( the PRO Act ), a  top legislative priority of the labor movement which strengthens worker power by  protecting our rights to organize, bargain and go on strike.  

“Every worker in America deserves to be paid a living wage and treated  with dignity and respect,” Casey said in a 2021 Labor Day message . “That’s  why I’m fighting to pass the PRO Act in Congress, which would safeguard  and strengthen workers’ fundamental right to organize and ensure that  workers are able to decide whether or not to join a union through a fair  process… We owe it to workers and families to create an economy that  works for them, not for corporate interests.”  

The PRO Act takes a comprehensive approach to restoring the balance of power in the  workplace by blocking intimidating union-busting tactics, speeding the time frame for  union elections, providing new protections for workers against employer retaliation, and  helping newly organized workers secure a first contract faster by establishing mediation  and arbitration procedures.  

Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act 

Sen. Casey is an original co-sponsor of the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act of 2024, introduced in May in the U.S. Senate, which extends federal legal protections to ensure that public workers have the right to organize, bargain collectively and engage in  concerted activities. 

Standing with striking workers – literally  

When workers make the difficult decision to strike for better working conditions, Sen.  Casey doesn’t hesitate to stand in solidarity with them. In September, during the UAW’s  big three strike, Casey joined striking members of UAW Local 2177 on the picket line in Bucks County. In 2022, he brought boxes of pizza when he joined the picket line of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, bolstering the spirits of striking newspaper workers.  

Protecting steel industry jobs

Senator Casey has consistently fought for “Made in America” laws and policies to  ensure federal infrastructure projects are built with American steel. He is clear in his  commitment to stand with USW workers in protecting Pennsylvania’s steel industry and  the good union jobs that it creates.  

Senator Casey has opposed Nippon Steel’s purchase of U.S. Steel since it was  announced in December. In the days following the sale announcement, he urged the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to block the sale and demanded answers from Nippon on the company’s commitment to Pennsylvania. In the following  months, he has continued to push the Biden Administration to oppose the planned  acquisition.  

“I share President Biden’s commitment to maintaining an American steel industry,” said Sen. Casey. “My number one priority is protecting union jobs in the Mon Valley and I’ll work like hell against any deal that leaves our Steelworkers behind.”

Standing for organizing rights

Early this year, Sen. Casey joined 31 of his colleagues in a letter urging non-unionized automakers to respect the rights of workers at their manufacturing plants as they  organize with United Auto Workers’ (UAW). “All workers, no matter what states they live  in, should have a free and unhindered opportunity to join a union,” the letter stated. “We  strongly urge you to implement a neutrality agreement at your plants and commit to  negotiating in good faith if your employees do elect to unionize with the UAW.”  

In 2022, Casey introduced the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act to end the taxpayer  subsidization of corporate union-busting campaigns.  

“Corporations shouldn’t be interfering with workers’ right to organize. They certainly shouldn’t be able to write off anti-unionization campaigns as a  business expense,” said Senator Casey. ‘Unions are a rising tide that lifts all for all  workers. It’s long past time we level the playing field and protect workers’  rights to organize.”

The bill would classify businesses’ interference in worker organization campaigns like  political speech under the tax code and therefore not tax deductible. Activities denied a  deduction would include both unlawful attempts to influence employees, and lawful  activities that nonetheless should not be subsidized by taxpayers.  

Senator Casey’s Tax Fairness for Workers Act would allow workers to deduct common  employment expenses such as travel and uniform costs, restoring a deduction stripped by the 2017 Trump tax law. Workers will be able to deduct business expenses, just as  employers can. The bill would also allow workers to deduct their union dues.  

Senator Casey introduced the Stop Spying Bosses Act to hold companies accountable  for using surveillance technologies against their employees, including for surveillance  and monitoring that targets organizing activity.  

Protecting healthcare for striking workers

While employers cannot fire workers for participating in a protected strike, they can, and  often do, threaten to cut workers’ health care as a coercive tactic to silence them.  Senator Casey co-sponsored the Striking and Locked Out Workers Health Care Protection  Act to prevent employers from cutting off striking or locked out workers’ health care. This legislation would end this abuse of power by creating a separate Unfair Labor  Practice (ULP) category for when employers cut or alter workers’ health insurance while they are on strike or locked out.  

“While workers fight for fairer wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions, they should have the peace of mind knowing that their employers can’t kick them off their health care while they’re exercising their fundamental right to organize,” said Sen. Casey.

Securing and protecting jobs

Sen. Casey works to ensure that major federal legislation incorporates the needs of Pennsylvania’s working families, including the right to unions and good wages. 

● Sen. Casey voted for the American Rescue Plan that saved the jobs of public  employees and airline workers, and rescued the multiemployer pension plans  covering more than a million union members and retirees.  

● Sen. Casey voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act , which will create millions of jobs in construction and manufacturing, with strong protections for union rights and prevailing wages. The act also strengthened “Buy  America” rules.  

● Sen. Casey voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, which will create hundreds of  thousands of American manufacturing jobs, in addition to reducing prescription  drug prices for seniors and lowering energy costs.  

● Sen. Casey voted for the CHIPS Act , which grows U.S. supply chains for  semiconductor chip manufacturing and ensures that new semiconductor plants  being built with federal money will employ union-trained workers.  

One Fair Wage

Sen. Casey understands that a fair day’s work deserves a living wage. He was an  original co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 , aimed at raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The act would directly give raises averaging $3,100  annually to more than 1.24 million working people in  Pennsylvania.  

“It’s time to deliver for working families and raise the wage,” Sen. Casey said. “It’s important to remember that many of those paid the minimum  wage are single mothers who are the sole providers for their household.  Raising the wage and indexing it will have a substantial impact for these  workers and their children.”