Employment and Unions
While we are debating the minimum wage on a national level, there is another debate going on in Virginia, the repeal of the misbranded “Right to Work” law. This law has kept unions from effectively organizing in Virginia and has played a large part in destroying our middle class.
These laws began as racist policies in the late 1940’s. In the heyday of unions, in the past century, most middle-class Americans were secure knowing that if they worked a 40-hour week, they could buy a home, support a family, occasionally go out to dinner or a movie and take a vacation. That reality has now vanished.
More and more people must try to get by on minimum wage because they can’t organize for their fair share. Many parents live in fear of a child’s illness, because they can’t afford health care. And kids go without basic items including enough food, school supplies and clothes.
This wealth didn’t disappear. It shifted to create a class of ultra-rich corporate executives and stockholders. While CEOs should be well-compensated and stockholders should get a fair return on their investment, this should not be at the expense of a healthy middle class.
The middle class is the backbone of this country. We fight the wars, educate our kids and pay our bills. Unions give us a seat at the table to protect our, and America's, interests. We need to bring back and strengthen our unions.