One of newly-appointed Maryland Secretary of Labor Portia Wu’s first stops was the Maryland/DC state fed’s first Labor Lobbyist meeting of the year on Monday. Wu talked about her parents’ longtime careers as federal workers and her own work at Microsoft which has had a labor neutrality agreement with CWA since last June. It was noted that Wu’s visit was the first time in eight years that a Maryland Secretary of Labor had visited with the state fed and labor leaders, and Wu urged labor to reach out directly to her on their concerns. “The labor family is excited to have someone of Secretary Wu’s strong labor background leading the department,” said Maryland/DC AFL-CIO President Donna Edwards.
The Maryland/DC AFL-CIO reported at Monday’s meeting that although it’s still early in the session and many of labor’s priority bills have not been released yet, hundreds of bills impacting unions and workers have already been introduced. The state fed has been supporting labor’s legislative agenda, including HB2, which would allow union workers to deduct their dues from state income taxes. The Machinists are currently fighting for a bill to grant collective bargaining rights to all library workers statewide. Public sector unions like AFSCME and AFT are working to help close the massive vacancies at state agencies that have left many union members overworked and underpaid.
photo by Brian Wivell, MD/DC AFL-CIO