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Philadelphia AFL-CIO to Host First-Ever Workers' Presidential Summit

Biden, Sanders, Klobuchar, Ryan, Steyer, Yang, Williamson slated to address blue-collar and union issues in key 2020 swing state

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia Council of the AFL-CIO is taking action to convene an urgent conversation with the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominees about the need for more union jobs in America -- and about what candidates will do to advance key labor issues if they become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. The Council announced earlier this month that it would host a first-ever "Workers' Presidential Summit" in Philadelphia, PA on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

Candidates who have confirmed their participation include Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders , U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar U.S. Representative Tim Ryan Tom Steyer Andrew Yang, and  Marianne Williamson . Additional confirmations are expected.

The summit occurs against a backdrop of rising support for labor unions across the nation. Recent polls show support for unions at nearly a 50-year high mark. According to data from an MIT study, the number of U.S. workers "who don't belong to unions but say they would join one if they could is higher than it was two decades ago." 

"It's no secret that winning Pennsylvania will be key to winning the Presidency -- and that working-class voters hold that key. This summit will showcase frank talk between Democratic candidates and union members from every industry about which of them will do the best job standing up for working people in the White House," said  Pat Eiding , President of the Philadelphia Council, AFL-CIO. "On Tuesday, September 17, Pennsylvania's working families will begin to decide who, as the Democratic nominee for President, is best suited to bring about the changes necessary to deliver more union jobs and greater equality to our state and to our nation."

Eiding authored this op-ed, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday, underscoring the importance of electing a President in 2020 who will stand with unions and working people: https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/union-workers-pennsylvania-2020-presidential-candidates-20190915.html 

Workers from across Eastern Pennsylvania and the state will be traveling from surrounding areas to the  Pennsylvania Convention Center on September 17, 2019 to hear from Democratic candidates about how they will help to combat wage inequality, ensure access to quality public services, strengthen the right to organize unions, and increase the number of good, union jobs in the United States, among other issues.

Union members from across Pennsylvania have submitted questions for the candidates online through the event website and through social media. The questions collected online, along with questions from the audience and a range of elected labor leaders, will be posed to candidates throughout the forum.

Rank and file union members and voters from across every industry, both private and public -- including education, health care, social services, construction, first responders and public safety, and more -- are slated to turn out for the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO's first-ever Workers' Presidential Summit.

WHEN:  Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Doors open at 3:00 P.M. EST, Summit begins at 3:30 P.M. EST

WHERE:  Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, Enter at corner of Broad and Race Street

WHO: Rank and file union members, Democratic candidates for President of the United States of America

Special thanks to all of our sponsors: IBEW Local 98, Laborer's District Council, Iron Workers Local 401, CWA Local 13000, IUOE Local 542, Elevators Constructors Local 5, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, Steamfitters Local 420, BMWE,  Insulators Local 14, Roofers Local 30, IATSE Local 8, PASNAP, AFSCME District Council 33, AFSCME District Council 47, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Unite  Here Local 274, IUPAT District Council 21, Plumbers Local 690, Sprinklefitters Local 692, Bricklayers Local 1, SEPA ALF, AFGE District 3 and Cleary, Josem & Trigiani LLP.

About the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO: The Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO is comprised of over 100 local labor unions representing close to 200,000 working men and women in the public sector, private industry, and the building and construction trades.  The mission of the Council is to bring social and economic justice to working people by giving them a voice on the job, in politics, and in the community.

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SOURCE The Philadelphia Council of the AFL-CIO