Here's what you need to know this week:
Mobilize to Tallahassee: Session Starts Jan. 9!
See below for a briefing on concerning legislation moving through the Florida legislature. It is imperative that the organized working class mobilize to Tallahassee to fight anti-worker legislation. Contact your local union to assist you in attending a week of the Florida AFL-CIO's Working Families Lobby Corp program.
While there are only about 800 bills filed (far fewer than at this point in a typical session) there are still some very serious attacks on working families and some important opportunities that we need the Working Families Lobby Corps (WFLC) to work on.
HB 433 – This legislation started as a preemption of local heat stress ordinances, amid a local effort in Miami-Dade County. An amendment filed on 12/6 has expanded to include all “conditions of employment” including living wage ordinances and other pro-worker ordinances. This language has been filed many times. The WFLC beat it each time, but with an anti-worker majority in both the Senate and the House, we cannot sit back and assume someone else will defeat it for us!
SB 594 / HB 705 – These bills dramatically expand the definition of “public works projects.” The effect will be to preempt all local hire preferences, local minimum wage laws on public works projects and eliminate the authority of local governments to regulate many aspects of infrastructure projects and services.
HB 49 – This bill will allow employers to schedule minors (16–17-year-olds) for longer hours on school nights, more hours during the week and eliminate curfews to keep these kids off the streets late at night. The bill will also allow children to be fired if they or their parents don’t want them working late on school nights.
SB 460 – This bill will allow minors to work in dangerous situations such as on roofs and scaffolding. It also weakens supervisory requirements for minors working on dangerous construction sites.
Public records requests show that anti-union groups such as the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Florida Home Builders Association are backing this bill according to reporting in the Orlando Weekly.
SB 246 / HB 109 – These bills will make it much easier for traditional public schools to be turned over to charter school operators. This could give millions in publicly established resources to these charter school operators.
HB 331 Linked HB 333 – These bills propose a change to Florida’s constitution to allow the school levies portion of property taxes to be exempt for certain homeowners. This will take millions of dollars away from our public schools.
HB 335 – This bill increase the threshold to approve constitutional amendments on the ballot from 60% to 66.67%.
Keep in Mind:
In Memoriam: Ray Davis (1943-2023)
The local labor movement lost a lifelong unionist this week. Below is the obituary for Ray Davis as well as a link to his memorial and funeral service information:
Obituary for Raymond S Davis Jr. Davis, Raymond S, Jr., 80, of Clearwater Florida, formerly of Swartz Creek Michigan, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, December 10th, 2023.Funeral services will be held 2 PM Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023 at Moss Feaster Funeral Home, Pastor Phillip Gray will officiate. Visitation will be held 1 PM until the time of service at the funeral home. A memorial service for Ray will be held in Michigan, 2 PM January 6, 2024, at Flint First Wesleyan Church, 3825 Davison Rd., Pastor Phil Count officiating. A gathering of family and friends will be 12 Noon until the time of service at the church.
Ray was born May 16th, 1943, in Flint Michigan, the son of Raymond Sr. and Helen (Bandy) Davis. He graduated from Southwestern High School in 1961. Ray married Carolyn Rose Borup on April 25th, 1964. Ray retired from General Motors after 41 years of service. He was actively involved with the UAW retirees as the Chairman of the Florida Sun Coast International Area Council until his death. Ray was a member of Flint First Wesleyan Church for most of his life and also attended Bayside Community Church in Florida.
Ray is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn Davis of Florida; children, Raymond (Diane) Davis of Waverly, Tennessee, Jennifer Evely of Swartz Creek, Michigan, and Marcie (Jeff) Sutliff of Clearwater, Florida; former son-in-law Mark Evely; grandchildren Lauren (JT) Blue, Sara (Jordan) Robertson, Emily, Jayden, Anna and Santino; great grandchildren, Rosie, Levi, Ella and Claire; sisters, Mary Ann (Del) Green of Indiana and Marcia Davis of Ohio; brother-in-law, John (June) Borup of Tennessee; many cousins, nieces and nephews, and step-sisters, Sharon (Don) Perkins and Cyndy Ackley.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents and special cousins, Carolyn, Jimmy, and Bethany.
He was a great family man and he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Ray enjoyed playing cards, games, golf, crossword puzzles, and cheering on his grandchildren. Ray was an avid University of Michigan and Detroit Tigers fan, and a lifetime believer that the Detroit Lions would make it to the Super Bowl!
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
That's all for this week! Check out our website at wcflc.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. If you would like to receive text message alerts from the Florida AFL-CIO (Msg & data rates may apply), text FLUNION to 235246!
Will we allow the Florida legislature to bring us back to early 20th century labor standards?Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics