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WHEREAS, in each of the last two years, Oxfam rated Virginia 51st-- the worst place in the nation -- to be employed, because of our state’s anti-worker minimum wage, weak worker protection, and insufficient right-to-organize laws;

WHEREAS income inequality has been increasing dramatically in Virginia and nationwide;

WHEREAS Virginia enacted its “right-to-work” law in 1947;

WHEREAS in “right-to-work” states like Virginia, annual wages are $1,558 less on average than in other states, with lower health benefits and pensions and less safety on the job;

WHEREAS “right-to-work” laws are designed to weaken labor unions by prohibiting union security agreements, which require all employees who benefit from collective bargaining to pay the union for bargaining on their behalf;

WHEREAS “right-to-work” laws have their historical roots in racist efforts to preserve the hateful practice of segregation;

WHEREAS unions reduce wage inequality by obtaining higher wages for low- and middle-wage workers and greater benefits for all employees, and unions have been shown to reduce gender and racial pay gaps;

WHEREAS Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone”;

WHEREAS repealing Virginia’s “right to work” law would allow our state’s workers to organize for better working conditions and family-sustaining wages; and

WHEREAS one of the core values of the Democratic Party is to support workers’ rights, including the right to form and join unions;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that: The Arlington County Democratic Committee urges the Virginia General Assembly and Governor Northam to repeal the misnamed “right to work” law.

Passed and Approved this Resolution on the 5th day of February, 2020.

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