As we celebrate Labor Day and the past successes of the labor movement, we continue to mobilize for just working conditions, pay, and benefits for the working class. Workers have united to bring about revolutionary changes in past struggles, however, the modern-day labor movement has been increasingly derailed by the corporate Democratic and Republican Parties.
Despite its trifecta, the Virginia Democratic Party has failed to repeal its racist “Right to Work” law. This law undermines unions, forcing workers to work for less. Governor Ralph Northam, catering to the state's business elites, delayed the increase of our minimum wage to $9/hr. Northam further suspended even the limited rights for collective organizing by public employees, such as our school teachers.
We call upon workers across the nation to abandon the corporate duopoly and to instead support the Green Party, which has a history of fighting for labor rights. The boldest policies for the working class have always come out of third parties: the eight-hour workday, the forty hour workweek, workers' benefits, unemployment compensation, the minimum wage, laws against child labor, and programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The Green Party is the continuation of this legacy, while the Democrats and Republicans have continued to delay desperately needed reforms. The two major parties have resisted moving to a $15 minimum wage for so long, that it is no longer a living wage. Greens understand we must demand a real living wage, indexed to inflation. We understand, furthermore, the importance of unions in bargaining and call for an end to “Right to Work” laws such as the one we have in Virginia. The Green Party calls for a single-payer Medicare For All healthcare system, one not tied to employment, allowing workers more freedom to bargain for higher wages and better benefits including paid sick leave. We see real world examples that a 4-day (32 hour) work week increases productivity, creates happiness and promotes the health of workers. Finally, during this pandemic, workers must be protected, physically by providing needed PPE and upholding a safe work environment as well as economically through payroll assistance and continued expanded unemployment benefits until there is economic recovery.
The Green Party is the largest national working class party, with a history of fighting for these issues. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has only hollow rhetoric. Do not be fooled, their corporate donors from wall street and big business come before the rights of workers. This Labor Day, join us in building power in the only national party that refuses corporate money and that is actively fighting for the rights of workers, the economy and a habitable planet.