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Carter Calls on Democrats to Repeal Right to Work

Carter Lee speaks at a podium, with two other lawmakers behind him on the left and an American flag on the right.
Del. Lee Carter speaking at the General Assembly on Thursday. (Patrick Larsen/VPM)

VPM intern Patrick Larsen reported this story.

Del. Lee Carter (D - Manassas) is sponsoring a bill that would repeal Virginia's Right to Work law. He says the law, which makes it illegal for workplaces to require union membership, gets in the way of workers’ rights.

He says it's designed to weaken unions and efforts to bargain on behalf of workers.

Despite a new Democratic majority and commitments to pass a variety of progressive reforms, there are questions about whether an effort to repeal the law would be successful.

Carter thinks he has a strategy to do that.

“This law has been on the books since 1947, and folks, it was racist from the start,” Carter said.

Carter says he hopes to gain support from Democrats after they committed to removing racist laws from Virginia code, pointing to racist rhetoric used by the creator of Right to Work.

He says the law is still racist today, because people of color have higher Union membership rates compared to white workers.

A spokesperson for Virginians for Free Employment Choice, a coalition that supports Right to Work, said businesses “are choosing Virginia to set up shop or expand,” because of the law.

Supporters of Right to Work say the law creates jobs for thousands of Virginians.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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