Three Running for Congress To Talk Wages, Unions
Three of the candidates running for District 15 in the U.S. House of Representatives have said they will appear at a town hall meeting Wednesday to talk with workers who are calling for higher wages and more union jobs.
TAMPA – Three candidates who are running for U.S. House District 15 will join a town hall meeting on Wednesday (May 30) with fast-food and healthcare workers and adjunct faculty to highlight the need to make it easier for working people to join together in unions in Florida in order to raise wages and create thriving communities.
People who work as cashiers, cooks, adjunct faculty, and in the healthcare industry from across Tampa and St. Petersburg will discuss why increasing union membership is the best way to confront inequality and lift the 64 million Americans who are paid less than $15 an hour out of poverty. People who already belong to a union will explain how having a voice on the job has empowered them to win higher pay and better benefits to support themselves and their families.
Organizers said the laws that gave Americans the right form unions and build the middle class in the 20th century have not kept up with the new economy and new corporate strategies to keep workers and their unions down. A growing number of economists warn that working families are at risk of falling behind because working Americans do not have enough power to ensure that growing corporate profits translate into real wage gains for employees.
Women and working people of color are more likely to work in service and care jobs where wages have historically been kept lower and barriers to forming unions have been made higher, they said.
Over the past 40 years, organizers said that corporations and politicians have gutted unions, held down pay and made it harder for people to get ahead. The result: 64 million workers are paid less than $15/hour, and their power to join together and negotiate for higher wages, affordable healthcare, and other improvements has been stripped away. To encourage balanced, sustainable growth, Florida needs to help working people raise wages to build thriving communities.
At the town hall, organizers said, workers will challenge the elected officials and candidates to lay out their plans for “un-rigging” a system that benefits the wealthy, at the expense of the few, and to explain how they see unions playing a role in leveling the playing field in Florida.
Candidates who have agreed to be at the town hall are Kristen Carlson, Raymond Pena, and Andrew Learned. All Democrats, they are three of the 12 candidates who have qualified to run for the District 15 seat currently held by Republican Dennis Ross, who is not running for reelection. The other nine candidates are Republicans and write-ins. CD 15 includes portions of Hillsborough, Polk and Lake counties.
The town hall, which is open to the public is 6 p.m. in Room 3705 at the Marshall Student Center, University of South Florida, 4103 Cedar Circle, Tampa.
Photo shows, from left, Andrew Learned, Kristen Carlson and Raymond Pena.
Town Hall Meeting | Events | Andrew Learned | Kristen Carlson | Raymond Pena | Tampabay News
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