Political Issues & Endorsements

Collage of 2016 labor to labor political work

Political Education and Action By and For Working People

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO Political Program elects candidates who aggressively support pro-worker legislation, who will stand up to the millionaires and billionaires, and who will fight back against a rigged system. Our efforts are led by the Committee on Political Education (COPE), which includes the Executive officers, the Executive Council, and our political and legislative directors. COPE mobilizes and educates union members to vote for pro-worker candidates. The COPE committee also assesses statewide ballot questions and their impact on working people.

COPE program

We use strict criteria to endorse and help elect pro-labor candidates. To be eligible, new candidates must state their positions in a comprehensive questionnaire, and they must go before the Central Labor Council(s) with jurisdiction over their district. Incumbent candidates running for re-election to the state legislature must demonstrate a pro-labor voting record of at least 75 percent. Other factors are also considered, such as whether candidates introduce or testify on behalf of pro-labor legislation, make pro-worker remarks during floor debates, and participate in pro-labor activities such as walking picket lines or writing letters of support. Candidates running for county or municipal office are not considered by the COPE and must seek endorsement through the Central Labor Councils.

To support endorsed candidates or ballot campaigns the Massachusetts AFL-CIO produces communications aimed at educating union members on key issues and candidates’ records on these issues. These political education programs operate year-round and include compiling voting records for all state legislators and the state Congressional delegation. Our efforts ramp up during campaigns, when we produce campaign literature, fact sheets, web pages, and other research-based materials to let members know the issues at stake.

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO mobilizes the union vote for pro-worker candidates, and for pro-labor ballot initiatives and local petitions. Our thousands of union activists get out labor’s vote through member to member communication via phone banks, canvassing, rallies, mail, email, social media, and talking to fellow union members at the jobsite.


LaborCAN! is a grassroots network of union members mobilizing the power we have to not only win elections but to hold our elected officials accountable. With members of every union joining forces, LaborCAN! strengthens the voice of all working people in the State House, in our neighborhoods, and in the streets. See following page for more information

Click below to see a list of campaigns endorsed by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO in the last election.

PDF icon2016 Endorsements