Lobby Day ReCap - Fired Up & Ready to Go!
Richmond, VA -- Monday, January 27, 2020 marked Virginia AFL-CIO's official lobby day following the kick-off of the Legislative Conference. Over 200 union delegates took to the Pocahontas Building and the Capitol fired up and ready to lobby on repeal of right to work (HB 153 - Delegate Lee Carter); collective bargaining for public sector employees (HB 582 - Delegate Elizabeth Guzman & SB 1022 - Senator Jennifer Boysko); minimum wage increase (HB 395 - Delegate Jeion Ward & SB 7 - Senator Richard Saslaw); and prevailing wage (HB 833 - Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy & SB 8 - Senator Richard Saslaw).
Union members were met with long lines, but they packed their patience and braved the cold with smiles to make sure workers of Virginia had their voices heard by General Assembly legislators.
After packed hallways and lots of talks with legislators, union activists took part in watching either the House or the Senate from the gallery of the Capitol or other rooms around the premises where they witnessed history being made as Virginia became the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)! and follow-up that part of the day by watching Senate Commerce and Labor committee meeting. The Senate Commerce and Labor committee had an extremely long docket with over 50 bills to be heard, two of which union members lobbied on that day (SB 7 & SB 8) as well as many others affecting workers including, but not limited to worker misclassification and nonpayment of wages, paid sick leave, minimum wage, noncompete, balancing billing and so much more. Many bills were rolled into one another or passed by for the day, but minimum wage bill SB 7 that union members lobbied on during the day was voted on and with a 12-3 vote score was reported out with a substitute and referred to the Senate's Committee on Finance and Appropriations.
After hours within the committee room, union members closed out their Legislative Conference with a fun evening reception with legislators (who weren't still in committee meetings).
To view lobby photos, click here.