In Tallahassee, HB 1 was recently heard in its first of only two referenced committees for the 2020 legislative session. This anti-worker bill would add burdensome requirements for employees that wish to be part of a union. Democratic members of the Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee offered amendments to lessen the negative impacts of the bill. Orlando’s Anna Eskamani is continuing to speak out on the issue after the amendments were not adopted and her fellow Democrats express their deep concerns that the bill is not in the best interest of employees.
“The right to join a labor organization as well as that organization’s right to collectively bargain are enshrined in Florida’s Constitution,” said Orlando Representative Anna Eskamani. “This bill seeks to undermine those constitutional rights, is unnecessary, and burdensome to our workers, unions, and employer organizations. As a state, we should be focused on making life better for our workers and empowering our workers– not silencing them.”
Other members on the committee and Leader Kionne L. McGhee issued the following statements:
Leader Kionne L. McGhee (D- Cutler Bay) stated, “This bill is a heavy-handed answer to a problem for which there is little evidence. It’s an additional burden on our teachers, school support workers, firefighters, and law enforcement.”
Ranking Member Representative Kimberly Daniels (D- Jacksonville) stated, “I stand with the working men and women of Florida and I cannot support this legislation becasue I don’t think it helps the people of our state.”
Representative Bobby DuBose (D- Fort Lauderdale) stated, “I get the opportunity to hear this bill again, in its second and final stop…but I think it’s very important that we judge the policy before us as it’s presented at that time. My biggest concern is that this bill only has two stops, and the next one is state affairs… Let’s make sure that we take time to address these issues and not just fast track that. Today, my ‘no’ and my opposition is where the bill is today, but my hope is that we can get to a ‘yes’ tomorrow.”
Representative Javier Fernández (D- Coral Gables) stated, “It is a sad day in Florida when this House’s Republican majority twists itself into knots to defend the rights of corporations while they trample on the associational and free speech rights of workers and their membership organizations. This bill is not about protecting workers. It is about one thing and one thing only: union-busting.”
Representative Margaret Good (D- Sarasota) stated, “The Florida Constitution protects the right to unionize. HB 1 undermines that right by making it both harder to join a union and harder to remain a union member. The legislature should be protecting Florida’s work force and celebrating the work that unions do to negotiate for things like fair pay, healthcare, and paid time off for Florida’s most precious resource, its people.”