Monday is Labor Day.
Labor Day is about thanking unions and all the workers who organized and came together to advocate for themselves because they knew they deserved to be treated with respect and dignity. In doing so, organized labor achieved reforms that have helped all Americans.
But the organized labor movement - and the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits - has been stifled for far too long here in Virginia.
Too many of our workers do not make enough money to afford rent, food and basic necessities.
Too many Virginian workers have to decide between getting a paycheck or taking care of their kid who's too sick to go to school.
(Virginia has lowest minimum wage the law allows. Just $14,500 before taxes is not enough to escape poverty.)
Virginian workers can still be fired because of who they love or their gender identity.
Virginia's public employees have been denied their right to collectively bargain for decades.
We can and must do better. And that starts this year. In 2019, we can elect the most pro-worker majority in the history of the Commonwealth.
What does a pro-worker legislative agenda look like?
Raising the minimum wage and indexing that wage to inflation.
Providing paid family medical leave so all workers can take care of themselves and their families
Authorizing localities to raise their own minimum wages
Prohibiting employers from firing people because of who they love or their gender identity
Codifying equal pay for equal work
Giving ALL Virginians access to driver's licenses and in-state tuition at public colleges and universities
Protecting Virginians from surprise billing for out-of-network healthcare services
Repealing "anti-worker" laws that allow non-union members to freeload off the sacrifices of their union coworkers
Allowing public employees to unionize and collectively negotiate wages and benefits
Encouraging project labor agreements to protect living wages and the quality of work performed on large building contracts.
Empowering localities, including public universities, to set wage standards for projects that use local public dollars
Protecting workers from retaliation by their bosses for trying to form unions or reporting workplace injuries
Strengthening laws to prevent wage theft
And much, much more.
But achieving any of this legislative agenda will require winning a Democratic majority this November.
Want to learn more about what a pro-worker legislative agenda looks like and how it could transform the lives of millions of Virginians? Join me on Labor Day.
Here's where I'll be:
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Alexandria Democratic Committee Labor Day Picnic
Fort Ward Park, Area 2
4301 Braddock Road, Alexandria
[I will be speaking at this event]
2:00 - 5:00 pm
414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington
[I plan to come here after speaking in Alexandria]
Always proud and honored to serve you,