What is C.O.P.E.?
The AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education, commonly known as COPE, is the nonpartisan political arm of the AFL-CIO.
COPE reports facts about issues and candidates. It follows the voting records of elected public officials. It helps to educate AFL-CIO members so that they will vote and vote intelligently.
COPE workers carry on registration drives and try to get out the vote on Election Day, so that the result will be a decision of the true majority of the people.
COPE grew out of the merger on December 5, 1955 of the AFL and CIO into the AFL-CIO, and consolidates in strengthened unity Labor’s League for Political Education (LLPE) of the former AFL and the Political Action Committee (PAC) of the former CIO.
As stated in the AFL-CIO Constitution, COPE has the task "of encouraging workers to register and vote, to exercise their full rights and responsibilities of citizenship and to perform their rightful part in the political life of the city, state and national communities."
COPE is NOT a political party. The resolution of political action passed unanimously by the First AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention states: "We reaffirm organized labor’s traditional policy of avoiding entangling alliances with any other group and of supporting worthy candidates regardless of party affiliation."
COPE cooperates with other groups, which have the same ideals and aims as our organization. It will work with all citizens of good will who have the same ideals.
COPE’s funds come from the voluntary contributions of AFL-CIO members and their friends. The Taft-Hartley Act forbids using one penny of union funds to help elect a Congressperson or Senator.
The President of the AFL-CIO is Chairman of COPE. The Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO serves in the same capacity with COPE. A National Director is appointed as operating head of COPE.
COPE operates on national, state, county, city, Congressional District, and local union levels.