A Virginia Teamster member participated in a labor roundtable discussion with Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and other union members yesterday afternoon, part of an effort by the lawmaker to get input on what the Democratic Party’s labor agenda should look like as party heads into the November election.
Nick Jones, political coordinator for Local 822, said he was among 17 union members on hand from eight different unions at the Newport News, Va. forum. He said the event gave labor a chance to share their thoughts on both local and national concerns.
“It was a great opportunity to sit down with local labor leaders to discuss challenges as well as great victories in the labor process where we live,” Jones said.
At the top of the agenda was talk of pensions, according to Jones. He noted the Teamsters’ support for the Butch Lewis Act, and Scott is a co-sponsor of the legislation as well.
Scott, the top Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, held the forum in part to share details about two labor reform bills that Democrats introduced in the last couple months — the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act (H.R. 6080, a comprehensive bill to support private sector workers) and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act (H.R. 6238, to respond to the impact of Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court case).
H.R. 6080 intends to restore fairness to the economy by strengthening the federal laws that protect workers’ freedom to stand together and negotiate better wages, benefits and working conditions. H.R. 6238, meanwhile, would guarantee that every public service employee in every state has the freedom to stand together and negotiate for fair wages and working conditions.