COPE

Committee on Political Education

Transport Workers Union of America AFL-CIO

What is COPE

COPE is the Committee on Political Education; the political action arm of the TWU. It raises funds for the purpose of supporting and endorsing candidates for public office based on their record and program, not their party.

Why Labor Is In Politics

Labor unions have always been under attack from Big Business and Anti-Worker politicians and policies.

Workers have learned through bitter experience that there is a powerful link between the bread box and the ballot box; that gains won at the bargaining table or through sacrifice on the picket line can be wiped out by inprudent actions of state or national legislatures and political leaders; and that today’s wage increases can be erased by tomorrow’s inflation, or today’s job can vanish by tomorrow’s wave of unemployment.

Unions are in politics to protect and advance the interests and concerns of their members and families.

Together we can combine our financial and voluntary resources to make a real difference in hundreds of key elections at the federal, state and local level.

Through the COPE Political Field Department, TWU members express their voice in politics and on policy issues that affect their lives.

TWU members can contribute to the Committee on Political Education; it is strictly voluntary. However, how much we contribute to a Federal candidate is mandated and strictly enforced by the Federal Elections Commission.

Its History In Brief

The history of labor in politics spans more than two centuries.

Workers in Colonial America helped form groups demanding political equality with the land and merchant classes.

Early political action by workers helped establish the nation's free public school system, initiated currency reforms, and abolished imprisonment for debt.

Throughout the early 1900s unions participated vigorously in national elections, supporting friendly candidates while opposing hostile ones.

During and in the early years after World War II, the labor movement came full-scale into politics. In 1943, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) formed its Political Action Committee, and in 1947 the American Federation of Labor (AFL) organized Labor's League for Political Education.

The two political departments merged into COPE when the AFL and CIO merged in 1955; now known as AFL-CIO.

Goals

The TWU COPE seeks a better life for our members and their families. We want programs that provide better education for the young, more security for the elderly and health care for all Americans.

We seek fairer tax laws, an end to poverty in our land, equal rights for all, protection for consumers, and a better transportation system.

We seek fair Labor Laws, Labor standards, and workplace protections.

In short, we seek a better America for all Americans. Political education and political action will lead towards our goal.


What We Do

  • COPE helps register union members and members of their families to vote.

  • COPE distributes thousands of voting records of Congress members and helps educate union members on the issues so they can be informed voters.

  • COPE endorses candidates on the basis of their record and/or their program, not on the basis of their party affiliation.

  • COPE urges every union member and voting age member of his or her family to vote.

  • COPE encourages TWU members to run for political office.

What COPE Doesn’t Do

  • COPE does not tell anybody how to vote.

  • COPE does not try to force union members to contribute to it.

  • COPE does not use dues funds in the form of contributions to endorsed candidates.

  • COPE does not try to make union members participate in its programs in their union or their community.

Since federal law prohibits the use of dues funds as contributions to candidates for office, COPE contributes to endorsed candidates from funds donated to it voluntarily by union members.

Government . . . Everybody's Business

Government belongs to the people, and it's going to be as good, or as bad, as we make it.

COPE wants to make it good . . . for the people. COPE believes government will be good if we all participate, young and old, men and women. All of us!

It's everybody's business. Don't kid yourself, it's yours, too.

What You Can Do

  • Sign up for COPE today!

  • Participate in the TWU's COPE program in your local union, as well as in your community and state.

  • Help in voters registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns.

  • Work to help the election of TWU COPE supported candidates.

Transport Workers Union of America AFL-CIO

1220 19th Street NW. 6th Floor

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 719-3900 Office

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