Sanders and Warren: Repeal VA Right to Work
The Senators pressured Governor Northam to stand with unions
After a strong union-backed effort in 2019 Democrats took control of all branches of the Virginia state government. As UCOMM previously reported Democrats had promised to repeal the state’s Right to Work law once they were in power, but immediately after the election began to backtrack on that promise. Governor Ralph Northam even told a Virginia business group “I can’t see Virginia taking actions to repeal right-to-work.”
According to the liberal Virginia blog Blue Virginia, they emailed Democratic State Senate leader Dick Saslaw asking for his position on repealing Right to Work, They received back the following email:
“Gov came out with strong statement saying No Go. Just for the record ― [Saslaw] has had MANY [chats] with labor groups and made his position abundantly clear,” a member of Saslaw’s staff replied, apparently intending to send the dismissive comment to a fellow staffer. “Don’t reply.”
The labor community has rightfully felt betrayed by the Democrats who pledged to be on their side. However, some national Democrats have announced their support for the repeal. With Virginia being an important swing state in the 2020 election, as well as an important state in the crowded Democratic primary, Senator Elizabeth Warren decided to weigh in. The Massachusetts Senator sent out a tweet saying:
Governor Northam, you have the opportunity to empower unions and working families. You should take it. https://t.co/laaNjR2yzb
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 27, 2019
Not to be outdone, Senator Bernie Sanders sent out a tweet supporting the repeal:
The Virginia AFL-CIO and Lee Carter are right.
If we're going to expand the middle class and end corporate greed, we need to repeal so-called "right-to-work" laws that have been a disaster for Virginia and 26 other states.
Gov. Northam: Do the right thing. End "right-to-work." https://t.co/Rtvu8ZAnH4
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 28, 2019
Lee Carter is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates who has previously introduced legislation to repeal Right to Work.