Workers’ Newest Allies in State and Federal Government (Part three of series)

With only two months under his belt as a freshman member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Chris Deluzio has quickly established himself as an unwavering voice for workers. 

Before he earned our union’s endorsement and went on to win a closely-contested election for Congress in November 2022, Deluzio was working at the University of Pittsburgh where he was an outspoken advocate for faculty who sought representation with the United Steelworkers (USW) union. 

Deluzio was an active member of the Pitt Faculty Organizing Committee, and he has said frequently that organizing fellow university workers inspired him to run for Congress. When dozens of Pitt faculty gathered at the USW Headquarters to celebrate their landslide unionization vote in October 2021, Deluzio was there.

“It’s a huge win, not just for us as faculty, but for the University [and] our students,” Deluzio said. “It sends a huge message to workers in Western Pennsylvania that labor is not on defense anymore.”

Deluzio continues to stand in solidarity with the faculty. Last month, he joined a rally outside the University’s Board of Trustees meeting to protest a lack of progress with negotiations.

“I’m with you, I’m thinking about you,” Deluzio told the crowd. “You deserve a contract and the decent, basic benefits and pay that every worker in this country deserves.” 

As a lawmaker, the belief that workers and our allies need to be playing offense has been Deluzio’s guiding principle. 

When he attended his first State of the Union Address, Deluzio invited a member of the Newspaper Guild-CWA of Pittsburgh, James “Hutchie” VanLandingham, who has been on strike from his job as a mailer with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since October 2022. This strike is the first of its kind in Pittsburgh in more than 30 years.

In recognition of this struggle and others, Deluzio recently joined Representative Susan Wild (PA-7) and Senators Bob Casey (PA) and Sherrod Brown (OH) in introducing bicameral legislation to protect striking workers’ health care.

The legislation, called the Striking and Locked Out Workers Healthcare Protection Act, would create a new unfair labor practice category for employers who cut or alter striking or locked out workers’ health insurance.

In a press release announcing the legislation, Deluzio said, “No company should be able to hold a worker’s health – or the well-being of their family – hostage during a labor dispute.”

When a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, just 10 miles outside of his Pennsylvania congressional district, Deluzio quickly huddled with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to demand the company be held accountable for cleanup and making whole anyone whose health and community has been impacted. 

Additionally, Deluzio has already cosponsored several pro-worker reforms, including:

  • No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act (H.R. 884);
  • Save Medicare Act (H.R. 732);
  • Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 17); and,
  • H.J. Res. 13, which seeks to limit the outsized impact of corporate spending in elections. 

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