On Labor Day, let’s work to elect champions for the working class
9/3/2020, 6 p.m.
This year, Labor Day comes just 57 days away from what could be the most historically important election for Virginia’s working people.
As a leader of the Central Virginia Labor Federation, we have seen firsthand the difference in having community leadership that uplifts working people. The coronavirus pandemic has presented the toughest challenge we’ve seen in modern history. Across the country, millions of people have been laid off through no fault of their own, including 344,135 in Virginia, nearly three times as many as a year ago.
In these times of turmoil, the labor movement has risen to the occasion. We’ve given our time, money and assistance to those in need because that is what community leaders do. But no matter how much effort we give, it pales in comparison to the assistance we could have had — and still need — from our federal government. We’ve waited for months as the House-passed HEROES Act sits untouched in U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s lap — and our nation continues to suffer.
That’s why we cannot stress enough the importance of this upcoming election.
In 2018, America’s voters elected more than 964 union members to public office. Now we have the opportunity to elect more.
This Labor Day, when it’s time to head back inside after a day at the pool or an evening barbe- cue, let’s reflect on why we get this day off — to recognize the decades America’s working people and the labor movement have spent fighting to ensure we have safe, quality workplaces.
Now, let’s make sure we elect people to public office who will keep it that way.
THELMA J. HUNT
The writer is president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 496 and president of the Central Virginia Labor Federation.