Statements & Advisories

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Media advisory: January 19, 2017

Virginia general assembly advances bill to restrict workers' wages

RICHMOND – The House General Laws Committee advanced a bill this week to prevent state agencies from requiring their contractors to pay workers a prevailing wage. House Bill 1596 aims to undermine labor standards and cut wages by weakening the guidelines that protect workers’ earnings and benefits.

“As workers throughout the Commonwealth and across the country struggle to make ends meet, we need policies that protect hardworking Virginians and ensure everyone is paid a fair wage for a day’s work,” said Doris Crouse-Mays, President of the Virginia AFL-CIO. “H.B. 1596 is a direct attack on the standards, protections, and wages that workers rely on to provide for their families.”

“Priorities matter,” said Lorne Seay, Secretary-Treasurer of the Virginia AFL-CIO. “By advancing this bill, and others like it, our representatives are once again making a clear choice to put their corporate campaign donors before the needs of Virginia’s working families.”

H.B. 1596 also takes aim at local governments and is designed to take important decision making power away from local governments. Local leaders know what’s best for our communities and it’s not the one-size fits all approach offered in H.B. 1596. As H.B. 1596 heads to the floor for a final vote, we urge Delegates on both sides of the isle to stand with Virginia’s working families and oppose this bill.

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