On Tuesday, November 3rd, Virginia voters will go to the polls to elect their state senators and delegates. Riding on the outcome will be whether the General Assembly changes from its narrow anti- worker majority to one more likely to pass legislation that benefits the com- monwealth’s working families—especially an urgently-needed rise in the minimum wage.

All along Virginia’s borders, states and cities have increased the minimum wage. Local 400 led successful fights for minimum wage hikes in Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. But legislation strongly supported by Local 400 that would have raised the Virginia minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour by 2017 was killed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee last winter.

With anti-worker forces controlling the state Senate by a 21-19 margin, a shift of just two seats would make it possible to pass a minimum wage bill and other measures—like expanding Medicaid— that would raise the standard of living and quality of life for Virginia workers. That’s why it’s so important that Local 400 members know where the candi- dates stand on these issues—and that members turn out to vote on election day.

“Our members have an opportunity to vote for higher pay and a better future,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “This is a clear-cut case where member turnout can make the defining difference in how all of Virginia’s working families do in the future.
“When we won a minimum wage increase in West Virginia, our Kroger members in the state got a raise,” Federici noted. “It’s up to us to make the same thing happen in Virginia.”

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