On Dec. 6, Richmond became the first locality in Virginia to approve collective bargaining for its teachers and other public school employees.
The Virginia Defender
Established in 2005 as The Richmond Defender, The Virginia Defender is a free community newspaper, published quarterly for the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. Print distribution is 16,000 and statewide. The online publication launched in Summer 2020.
The Coalition for Justice of Blacksburg, a co-founder of the Virginia Prison Justice Network, is working with the Virginia Tech Center for Humanities to create an online journal of art, writing, spoken word and reflections on prison life.
In May 2021, a change to state law came into effect that allows local governments and school boards to bargain collectively with their workers. Richmond City Council now has two bills to consider on this topic.
Workers at two Richmond-area Starbucks stores, one at 6980 Forest Hill Avenue in the city and the other at 11136 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County, have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board for recognition of their union.
In November 2021, workers at Richmond’s Diversity Thrift used-goods store went on strike. After a whirlwind nine-day campaign, they won higher wages, staffing changes, and new store policies regarding sexual harassment.
After voting down an earlier contract agreement late last year, members of United Steelworkers Local 8888 will be voting soon on a new deal with their employer, Newport News Shipbuilding. And this time the proposed contract may meet a key union demand: recognizing shipyard workers as “essential.”
Despite threatening weather forecasts, cold temperatures and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 90 people still turned out Jan. 22 for the 5th Annual Virginia Prison Justice Rally.