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  • Writer's pictureVirginia AFL-CIO

"Stronger Communities. Better Bargains." - Collective Bargaining Press Conference

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

Richmond, VA -- Today, Thursday January 16th, Virginia’s public service workers from several unions were in Richmond to speak about what the right to collective bargaining would mean for them and for their communities. We believe that stronger communities lead to a stronger Virginia. How do we accomplish that? By giving all Virginia workers the right to join a union and bargain for fair pay and safe working conditions.

Delegate Elizabeth Guzman's bill - H.B. 582 does just that for workers. Virginia is one of only three states in the nation that bar public sector workers from the right to bargain collectively. During a press conference held by "Stronger Communities. A Better Bargain," Virginia’s public service workers shared their stories about what the right to bargain collectively would mean for their families and for the communities they serve.

Speakers for "Stronger Communities. A Better Bargain." Press Conference. From left to right: Joe Mirabile (VPFF); Kelly Walker (VEA); Karen Conchar (SEIU); Freida Florence (AFT).

Virginia workers who spoke represented: The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Virginia Education Association (VEA), and The Virginia Professional Fire Fighters (VPFF). They spoke on their own experiences in the workplace and called for the passage of HB 582 because it would allow public sector workers to collectively bargain; enabling teachers to advocate for smaller class sizes, emergency responders to advocate for better equipment, and nurses to advocate for better staffing ratios; among many other public service improvements.

“Stronger Communities. A Better Bargain”, a coalition comprising Virginia AFL-CIO; The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); The American Federation of Teachers (AFT); The Communications Workers of America (CWA); Service Employees International Union (SEIU); The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400; Virginia Education Association (VEA) and The Virginia Professional Fire Fighters (VPFF) and

Watch individual speeches below:

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