Tagged as maryland


UFCW Local 400 Endorses Sydney Harrison for Prince George’s County Council

United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 has endorsed Sydney Harrison for Prince George’s County Council representing District 9. President Mark Federici issued the following statement regarding the endorsement:

“Syndney Harrison shares our commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15 for all hard-working families in Prince George’s County. We are proud to lend our support to Mr. Harrison and we look forward to his leadership on the council.”

Dyana Forester, UFCW Local 400 Political & Community Affairs Director, added the following:

“It has come to our attention that another candidate, Tamara Davis Brown,  mistakenly included our logo on some of her campaign materials, but to be clear, Local 400 did not make any endorsement in the primary.”

UFCW Local 400 is one of the largest private sector labor unions in the region. In Prince George’s County, the union has approximately 4,800 active members predominantly working in Safeway and Giant Food grocery stores.

Marc Elrich for Montgomery County Executive

Marc Elrich (right) poses for a photo with Safeway #1956 shop steward Sharon Glaser.

After years of leading many fights for working families—including passage of a $15/hour minimum wage—Montgomery County Councilman Marc Elrich more than earned Local 400’s enthusiastic recommendation in his campaign for Montgomery County Executive.

Local 400’s support in the June 26th primary helped Elrich win a narrow victory over a wealthy opponent who spent $5.4 million. Normally, the Democratic nominee is all but assured of victory in the general election in deep blue Montgomery County, but Elrich’s courage in championing workers earned the hostility of developers and other wealthy special interests. They have taken unprecedented action to try to stop him by convincing a pro-business county councilmember, Nancy Floreen, to enter the race as an independent. Elrich is abiding by the County’s public financing law, which prohibits corporations from donating to his campaign and requires him to raise small donations from county residents. Meanwhile, Floreen is using public financing in order to take advantage of all the special interest money flowing her way.  As a result, Elrich will be outspent. It will take people to put him over the top.

“On every issue that matters, from the $15 minimum wage to paid family and sick leave legislation, Marc Elrich has stood with us,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “Now, we must stand with him.

“Anti-worker special interest money is flooding into Montgomery County to try to elect a council member who didn’t have the guts to get into the primary, who voted against the $15 minimum wage the first time Marc put it before the Council, and who sponsored legislation undermining County employees’ collective bargaining rights,” Federici said. “We cannot let private profits trump the public good in this election, and that’s why I urge Local 400 members to volunteer and vote for Marc Elrich.”

As Elrich has noted, ​“Raising the minimum wage has already tangibly improved the lives of over 100,000 people and will continue to improve those lives and more in the years to come. An adequate minimum wage is life-altering for families and disproportionately benefits women and people of color. As a Montgomery County public school teacher for 17 years, I also know that the biggest barriers to students’ success are the inequalities that impact their lives, and that raising the minimum wage is thus particularly important for children.

“I have sponsored two successful minimum wage increases,” he added. “Several years ago, I helped convince lawmakers in Washington, D.C., Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County to join forces and push for higher minimum wages together. I then championed the cause of the workers behind the Fight For $15, and we succeeded last year in passing legislation that will gradually increase Montgomery County’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“My vision is a modern economy that encourages entrepreneurship, moves people and goods efficiently, develops today’s and tomorrow’s workforce, ensures regulations are sensible, and promotes opportunity for all,” Elrich said.

“The only way to have pro-worker progressive leadership in Montgomery County is to elect Marc Elrich as county executive,” Federici said. “All of our members living or working in Montgomery County have a lot at stake in ensuring that Marc wins.”

Election day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Early voting takes place from October 25th through  November 1st.

Why We Support Ben Jealous for Governor of Maryland

Local 400 Strongly Recommends Progressive Champion

Local 400 members living in Maryland would benefit greatly if they help elect Ben Jealous (D) their next governor, because he will fight for a $15 minimum wage, debt-free college tuition, bottom-up economic growth, universal health coverage, and a host of other pro-worker policies.

By contrast, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has repeatedly vetoed legislation our members need, like the Healthy Working Families Act. Fortunately, at Local 400’s urging, the General Assembly overrode Hogan’s veto and made paid sick leave state law.

That’s why Jealous, the former National President & CEO of the NAACP, received Local 400’s enthusiastic recommendation for his campaign to unseat Hogan.

“Ben has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to economic and social justice,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “Now more than ever, we need bold, visionary leaders like Ben to lead us on a new path to ensure every Marylander has the opportunity to earn a better life. We look forward to Ben bringing his much-needed fighting spirit to Annapolis.”

“I’m proud of the movement of working people we’ve put together over the past year,” Jealous said at a press conference announcing his endorsement by Local 400 and four other unions. “As a lifelong community organizer, I know that building a broader, more robust coalition than anyone thinks is possible is the only way to move forward on Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and fully funding our schools.”

Jealous’ agenda for Maryland’s working families includes:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour and tying it to the state’s median wage, while also gradually eliminating the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers.
  • Implementing an economic policy that increases wage growth, supports small businesses, and expands prosperity across every sector and region of the state.
  • Ensuring that the more than 300,000 Marylanders who currently lack health care are covered through a Medicare-for-All system that delivers better care for less cost.
  • Making community college free for every Marylander and making all four-year public colleges debt-free for state residents.

By contrast, Hogan has continually opposed measures designed to improve the living standards and quality of life for Maryland workers. Specifically, he:

  • Vetoed the Healthy Working Families Act, which would have denied paid family leave to workers in the state had the General Assembly not overridden his veto.
  • Opposes a $15/hour minimum wage.
  • Let health insurance premiums in the state rise by a whopping 120 percent, while opposing efforts to lower prescription drug prices.
  • Rejected needed increases in school funding. He tried to cut $144 million from Maryland’s public schools in his first budget. In 2016, he pushed to cut $30 million in investments for after-school programs, college preparation, and teacher retention. And he has diverted $18 million from public schools to subsidize expensive private schools.
  • Allowed Maryland workers to fall behind their counterparts, taking home less than $1,000 in inflation-adjusted wage growth during his time as governor while workers nationwide took home more than $5,500 in wage growth, and Virginia workers gained an additional $8,000.

“Wage growth for Maryland’s families has fallen behind under Larry Hogan and we need new leadership to create an economy that is truly inclusive and meets the needs of our state,” Jealous said. “As a businessman and civil rights leader, I know how to build an economy that leaves no family behind, no worker behind, no young person behind, and no person behind who has paid their debt to society and deserves a second chance. With new leadership, we can increase wage growth, support our small businesses, retain more of our own start ups and expand prosperity across every sector and region of our state.”

Federici urged Local 400 members in Maryland not only to vote for Jealous but to work for his election. “The more our members volunteer to make calls, knock on doors, and take other steps to elect Ben our next governor, the greater our chances of getting a true ally, advocate and fighter for our interests in the governor’s mansion,” he said. “I encourage everyone to do their part.”

Clinton Healthcare Center Workers Awarded $1,500 in Back Pay

From left to right: James Smith, Joyce Jackson, Claudene Fletcher and Dora Young, along with shop steward Tawanna Gray, received $1,500 in back pay after filing a grievance at Clinton Healthcare Center.

Like most Local 400 members, the contract covering employees at the Clinton Healthcare Center in Clinton, Md., requires scheduling to be based on seniority. Workers with the most seniority are scheduled for 10 days in each two week period, and those with less tenure might find their hours more varied, based on staffing needs.

But shortly after Clinton was purchased by CommuniCare Health Services, a for-profit company that operates 50 health care and rehabilitation centers in five states, scheduling started to change. “The new management wasn’t looking at our contract or our needs, it was just doing whatever it wanted,” said Local 400 shop steward Tawanna Gray. “I told them, ‘we have seniority and you have to follow our collective bargaining agreement.’ But they didn’t listen.”

So Tawanna spoke with her Local 400 representative, Heather Thomas, who filed a grievance on behalf of Clinton employees against management.

At first, progress was slow. But then a new general manager was hired who recognized the company was in the wrong and who worked cooperatively with Local 400 members to put things right.

“It took a while, but we let him know how many hours each affected employee was denied, and eventually, they wrote back pay checks,” Tawanna said. “And from that day forward, they’ve always looked at seniority first in scheduling.”

The total amount of back pay was nearly $1,500 for the five members who had been wrongfully denied their hours — Claudene Fletcher, Joyce Jackson, Rose Proctor, James Smith and Dora Young.

“I didn’t get any money back myself, but I was so happy for everyone who did,” Tawanna said. “The people who deserved it got it. And they were very, very grateful.

“I think it’s always a plus when the company and union agree together,” she added. “An even greater plus is when you have a GM from the company who says, ‘I see a mistake, I’ll take care of it, and it won’t happen again.’ It was a real morale booster, especially for me because I didn’t feel I had to do it all by myself. We had our union to back us up.”

Annapolis Police Win Take-Home Cars, 20-Year Pensions in New Union Contract

Pictured left to right: Johnie Perry, Local 400 Representative; Ofc. Deborah Sauriol-Inoni; Cpl. Hil O’Herlihy; and Det. Aaron Stein.

Annapolis Police Officers represented by Local 400 recently ratified a strong new contract that addressed their top priorities and improved the recruitment of qualified candidates by enabling all officers to receive take-home vehicles and reducing the time needed to receive full pensions from 25 to 20 years.

The negotiations took an unusually long time because a new mayor was elected and the city manager and finance director both resigned in the middle of contract negotiations. But the officers stayed strong and won on all the key issues before them.

“I’ve been in past negotiations where it feels like ‘us versus them,’” said Corporal Hil O’Herlihy, chief steward and a member of the Bargaining Committee. “But here, at the end of the day, we got together and worked out a deal that was beneficial to everybody. I was very happy. Everyone on both sides stepped up and did their jobs. This sets the Police Department up well for the future, and that will benefit the citizens of Annapolis.”

What was critical to the process was member solidarity. The primary goals benefited younger officers, because senior officers already had take-home vehicles and 20-year pensions. “Everyone understood that the younger officers were just looking for what the older officers already have,” Corporal O’Herlihy said. “People recognized that this is what matters for the agency going forward. It gives us a chance to get better qualified candidates, and all officers benefit when we’re able to recruit good people.”

Key provisions in the contract include:

  • Half of all officers will receive a take home vehicle in 2019 and the other half will receive them in 2020.  The city will purchase more than 40 additional vehicles to make this possible.
  • All officers will be eligible to receive full pension benefits after 20 years, including those hired after 2012, who had previously been on a 25-year schedule.
  • The City for the first time agreed to fully fund the Police and Fire pension by paying the amount “actuarially determined by the plan.”
  • Members will receive cost of living increases totaling 5.5 percent in addition to any step increases.
  • Military members will receive 120 hours of leave instead of “two weeks” for annual training.
  • Members will be eligible to accumulate 120 hours of compensatory time, up from 80 hours.
  • Key language surrounding Detective on call, SWAT team response and Field Training pay were included in the contract for the first time.

In addition to their solidarity and perseverance, the members benefited from the fact that competition is fierce to hire qualified police officers. Local 400 members serving on the Annapolis Police Force persuaded city management that the take-home cars and improved pension benefits were essential to the Department’s ability to be fully staffed with the best possible officers in the future.

Annapolis Police Officers Hailed As Heroes in Capital-Gazette Shooting

When the horrific mass shooting took place at the Annapolis Capital-Gazette on June 28th, Local 400 members serving as Annapolis police officers were the first to respond.

Even though the newspaper’s offices are outside the city borders in Anne Arundel County, Annapolis police officers were near the scene and arrived first. Not knowing what they would find, they charged into an active shooter situation, found and subdued the shooter, and worked to help the victims until emergency medical personnel arrived.

“My fellow officers went right in to the scene with no hesitation,” said said Corporal Hil O’Herlihy, Local 400 chief steward. “They ran towards the shooter and eventually placed him under arrest. They followed their training and their performance under the worst of circumstances couldn’t have been more impressive.

“Needless to say, it was incredibly traumatic to arrive in a room where people are screaming, bleeding and horribly injured,” Corporal O’Herlihy said. “Fortunately, the Department provides peer-to-peer support and other assistance to help them cope and heal. I was off-duty that day, but all of us know this is part of our commitment to service, and we’re all here to support one another—and support our community.”

Five Capital-Gazette journalists tragically lost their lives that day. But had it not been for the courage of Local 400’s Annapolis police officers, the outcome could have been even worse. They deserve our thanks and our admiration.

Peapod Stocker Awarded Back Pay After Being Unjustly Disciplined

Marcia Williams was awarded full back pay after being unjustly sent home from her job at Peapod in Hanover, Maryland.

Marcia Williams’ husband calls her every day during her 30-minute break, just to check in and see how her day is going. “Because he loves me,” she says. Marcia has worked as a stocker for Peapod for almost three years and according to shop rules, she’s allowed to have her phone with her on the floor. She can even listen to music with one earbud, but phone calls must take place in the break room.

One day in March, Marcia wasn’t watching the clock and realized that she had worked ten minutes into her break when her phone rang. She answered as she hurried toward the break room, explaining to her husband that she had missed the start of her break and she would call him back as soon as she got to the break room.

She looked up to see her supervisor watching her. “I wasn’t even on his time, I was on my time,” she says, but even after explaining the situation to three different supervisors, Williams was sent home for the remainder of her shift.

“So I said, I’ll call my union rep,” she says. “I’ve worked at a job that had a union before and I knew I wasn’t wrong.”

And she also knew that her representative, Aretha Green, would do everything she could to win her case. “She’s good,” says Marcia. “She will even walk the floor. She is on her job, everybody likes her.”

Aretha immediately got to work and filed a grievance. In less than a week, Marcia received notice that she had won her case and would be receiving back pay for the hours that she should have been working.

To ensure the problem didn’t happen to anyone else, Aretha went even further. She worked with Peapod to completely rewrite the cell phone policy to include a progressive discipline process. Progressive discipline is the idea that disciplinary action taken against you by your employer must gradually increase in severity. The new policy requires supervisors to first issue a warning before taking more drastic action. An employee cannot be suspended or sent home until they have been warned at least once, and an employee can’t be terminated without first having been suspended.

Progressive discipline is a cornerstone of union workplaces and ensures everyone is treated fairly. If she hadn’t been a union member, Marcia would have had no recourse. But thanks to her union contract, Marcia was awarded back pay for unjustly being sent home. It’s just another one of the reasons a union contract is the best protection you can have on the job.

Local 400 Member Helps Organize Union At His Second Job

Darius Smith, who served on the union bargaining committee, addresses the crowd at a Giant Food mass meeting in Washington, DC.

Two years ago, Darius Smith, a courtesy clerk at Giant #347 in Kettering, Md., was looking for a new job. He was feeling underappreciated, and he often found himself doing tasks that were not in his job description. He thought maybe he had simply gone as far as he could with Giant Food.

But when he talked to his union representative, Heather Thomas, about job opportunities at the union, she had another idea. She told him about the collective bargaining process and asked him to join the bargaining committee, and Darius agreed. He realized that perhaps his work at Giant was not done yet.

Darius had never participated in a union committee before, and he admits, “all I knew [about unions] was paying union dues until I talked to my representative.” He describes being a member of the 2016 Giant bargaining committee and attending listening sessions as “eye opening for me, because it was like, ‘Wow! Everyone is going through the same thing.’”

About a year ago, he started working as a caterer at the World Bank. Although his first impression was of a “family oriented” company, it wasn’t long before, “I started to notice issues [with how they treated us], and we had to deal with them pretty much on our own,” he says. “I don’t know if I was nervous at first but when I saw problems arising I was like, ‘Yeah, we need a union.’”

In April, Darius attended the bi-annual Labor Notes Conference in Chicago with other Local 400 members. He expressed his frustrations about his new job to UFCW Local 400 Mobilization Director Alan Hanson. Darius told Alan about how he and his co-workers were being asked to take on larger tasks than they could handle; how some of his co-workers, many of whom are immigrants, felt that their employer was guilty of discrimination; and how, in January, the World Bank had started cutting hours of both full-time and on-call employees without warning or explanation.

“The World Bank is about ending poverty all over the world but if you look at how they treat us it’s completely hypocritical,” Smith says.

Alan put Darius in touch with UNITE HERE Local 23, which primarily represents workers in the hospitality industry.

Darius was one of the few World Bank catering employees who had experience with a union, and he didn’t hesitate to take the lead in helping his co-workers get organized, although he says they didn’t need much prodding. In fact, he describes going to talk to a co-worker who Darius had heard might be hesitant about joining a union. By the time Darius got a chance to talk to him, he was already wearing a union button. “I guess other people had talked to him already,” he says. “I think he just didn’t really know about it [at first] but by the day of the election he was really ready to go.”

It seems this was true of most of his co-workers, 89% of whom voted to join the union in June.

But Darius knows from his experiences with Giant that the fight is far from over. “I really look forward to bargaining with the company, having everyone come together to formulate a better contract,” he says.

Along with experience and knowledge of the bargaining process, Darius’ contributes a great amount of spirit to his bargaining unit. “At Giant we had a lot of faith, and I think I can bring that, helping people keep faith, keep strong, keep motivated,” he says.

His experience as an assistant pastor at Hope in Christ Ministry helps him do this. It also helps him connect with his co-workers at the World Bank, one of whom is a priest and many of whom he believes to be similarly motivated by faith.

Darius hopes to be on the World Bank bargaining committee, and though formal listening sessions haven’t started yet, it seems that one of his greatest strengths is that he is always listening. He’s already gotten a lot of insight from co-workers about what their demands are, and he says that being part of Local 23 has given him an idea of what wages and contracts look like throughout the industry.

But for Darius, being part of a union means more than a new and improved contract. “When you’re part of a union you have something to look up to,” he says.

He also says that one of the most valuable things he has gotten from his involvement with the union is an education. “I’m not in college, I don’t have a college degree but I’m working with legislators and affecting laws, doing all these things people think you can’t do if you don’t go to college,” he says. “There’s more ways to succeed than college and I feel like I’m on that road.”

Now he is looking for ways to apply all that he has learned, and is learning, to his life beyond work. “Now that I have that union backing and that ministerial backing, it’s just a matter of finding that avenue, of how can I apply my skills to other social and community activism,” he says. “This is still very new for me but I know that the union can open doors for that.”

Most Candidates Backed by Local 400 Win Maryland Primary Elections

Photo via Twitter @BenJealous

Jealous Receives Nomination for Governor

Elrich Narrowly Leads Montgomery Executive Race

Candidates backed by Local 400 won more than they lost in the 2018 Maryland primaries, with a huge victory in the nomination of former NAACP President Ben Jealous for governor. Jealous (D) will face off against incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the November 6th general election.

In addition, Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich, a longtime Local 400 ally and champion of the $15 minimum wage, is holding a narrow lead of 473 votes in the race for Montgomery County executive as of Wednesday afternoon. This contest won’t be decided for days if not weeks due to the need to count absentee and provisional ballots.

Other winning candidates recommended by Local 400 include:

  • Attorney and community activist Will Jawando, who won the Democratic nomination for a Montgomery County Council at-large seat.
  • Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro (District 4).
  • Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker (District 5).
  • Civic activist Tom Dernoga, who won the Democratic nomination for Prince George’s County Council in the 1st district.
  • Prince George’s County Councilmember Deni Taveras (District 2).
  • Former State Del. Jolene Ivey, who won the Democratic nomination for Prince George’s County Council in the 5th district.
  • State Del. Aisha Braveboy, who won the Democratic nomination for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney.

In addition, community activist Krystal Oriadha was trailing by just nine votes as of Wednesday afternoon in her race for Prince George’s County Council in the 7th district.

“Local 400 members worked hard for our recommended candidates in this all-important primary election, and I am especially pleased that we have a dynamic Democratic nominee for governor in Ben Jealous,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “He will be the fiercest fighter for working families we’ve ever had in Annapolis if we can help propel him to victory over Larry Hogan in November. His work as a civil rights leader and community organizer is beyond compare, and his agenda of a $15/hour minimum wage and a free community college education for all is exactly what Marylanders need. We’re going to do everything in our power to elect this great pro-worker champion as Maryland’s next governor.

“While it will take some time to be certain, we are also very pleased that Marc Elrich is leading in the race for Montgomery County Executive,” Federici said. “His sponsorship of Montgomery County’s $15/hour minimum wage law and the consistent strong support he gives to our hardworking members will make him a great progressive leader of this large, diverse county.”

Local 400 recommended candidates who were not nominated include Brandy Brooks and Chris Wilhelm (Montgomery County Council at large), Ben Shnider (Montgomery County Council-3), Donna Edwards (Prince George’s County Executive), Gerron Levi and Karen Toles (Prince George’s County Council at large), and Tony Knotts (Prince George’s County Council 8th district).

“My congratulations to all our recommended candidates, no matter the outcome of their primaries, for running strong campaigns and advocating pro-worker policies,” Federici said. “Now, it’s on to the November general election, where our members will have so much at stake and so much to fight for.”

Maryland Elections: Local 400 Recommends These Candidates

Tuesday, June 26 is election day in Maryland. Make a plan to vote!

As your union, we have endorsed the following list of candidates because of their track record of fighting for economic and social justice. They have committed to passing a $15 minimum wage and supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for our members and all Marylanders. We strongly recommend you give them your vote on Tuesday, June 26th.

Candidates Recommended By UFCW Local 400

Governor & Lieutenant Governor
Ben Jealous & Susan Turnbull

Montgomery County

Montgomery County Executive
Marc Elrich

County Council, At-Large
Brandy Brooks

County Council, At-Large
Will Jawando

County Council, At-Large
Chris Wilhelm

County Council, District 3
Ben Shnider

County Council, District 4
Nancy Navarro

County Council, District 5
Tom Hucker

Prince George’s County

Prince George’s County Executive
Donna Edwards

County Council At Large
Gerron Levi

County Council At Large
Karen Toles

County Council, District 1
Tom Dernoga

County Council, District 2
Taveras Deni

County Council, District 5
Jolene Ivey

County Council, District 7
Krystal Oriadha

County Council, District 8
Tony Knotts

State’s Attorney
Aisha Braveboy

Maryland Paid Sick Days Law Takes Effect February 11

A team of five Local 400 members played a pivotal role in winning passage of the Healthy Working Families Act in Maryland.

In a resounding victory for Maryland’s working families, the House of Delegates and Senate voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the Healthy Working Families Act, making it the law of the state.

As a result, workers at Maryland employers with 15 or more employees will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to five full days per year. Workers will begin accruing sick leave on Sunday, February 11, once the new law takes effect 30 days after the veto override vote.

“This is a huge win for Local 400 and all Maryland working families,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “No one should have to choose between a paycheck and their health or the well-being of a family member. Thanks to every state senator and delegate who voted to override the governor’s misguided veto, paid leave is now a right in Maryland.

“Local 400 members and activists—including five who lobbied full-time—deserve the lion’s share of credit for this great advance in workers’ rights, along with our allies in the Working Matters coalition.” Federici said.  “This shows the power of collective action to make a profound difference in the lives of hardworking Marylanders.”

The House voted to override the veto by an 88-52 margin on January 11th and the Senate voted 30-17 the following day. The Healthy Working Families Act had been passed by the General Assembly in the 2017 legislative session, but Hogan vetoed the bill after the legislative session ended last year. The override votes were among the very first acts of the 2018 legislative session.

In addition to guaranteeing paid time and providing greater income stability for Maryland workers, the new law will:

  • Enable the thousands of working Marylanders who are underemployed and piecing together part-time jobs to receive earned sick days.
  • Allow victims of domestic violence or abuse to earn “safe time” in order to obtain medical attention, victims services, counseling, relocation or legal services that will keep their families safe.
  • Support healthy workplace policies for Maryland businesses and enable employers with existing earned sick leave standards to maintain those policies as long as they comply with the minimum regulations of the law.

This advance follows Local 400’s success in winning paid leave laws in Montgomery County, Md., and the District of Columbia.

The Next Battle: $15 Minimum Wage

The next big battle for Local 400, the Maryland labor movement and our community allies is to pass a $15/hour statewide minimum wage bill in this current legislative session. As with paid leave, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. have passed $15/hour minimum wage laws, and the goal is to extend this needed rise in living standards to all Marylanders.

“We’ve seen in recent negotiations how higher minimum wage laws have helped us gain contracts with needed pay increases,” Federici said. “Putting the entire state of Maryland on a path to a $15/hour minimum wage will further increase our power at the bargaining table in future negotiations.

“In a high-cost state like Maryland, an hourly wage below $15 just isn’t good enough,” he added. “Anyone who works full-time should be able to earn a living you can raise a family on. That’s why I urge our Maryland members to contact their state delegates and senators and demand that they pass a $15 statewide minimum wage this year.”

To contact your Maryland state legislators, please call the General Assembly’s toll-free number at (800) 492-7122.