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Bobby Scott named Legislator of the Year

Joining a union is a right, not a fight.

Congressman Bobby Scott

Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, LEAP Legislator of the Year

Since 1993, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott has tirelessly voted to better the lives of working people; and because of his stellar record, he received the Abe Breehey Legislator of the Year award April 26 during the Boilermakers’ annual LEAP conference in Washington D.C. For nearly 30 years, Scott has represented Virginia’s third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives fighting for working people. Before his election to Congress, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Scott has the distinction of being the first Black American elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second elected to Congress in Virginia’s history. Having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry also gives him the distinction of being the first person with Filipino ancestry to serve as a voting member of Congress.

He currently serves as the chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. In this capacity, he is advancing an agenda that improves equity in education, frees students from the burdens of crippling debt, protects and expands access to affordable health care, ensures workers have a safe workplace where they can earn a living wage free from discrimination and guarantees seniors have a secure and dignified retirement.  As a member of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus, Scott is a leading advocate for U.S. shipbuilding.

“Thank you for what you do for workers around the country,” said Scott, addressing delegates at the 52nd annual LEAP Conference. “We’re continuing our efforts to make sure workers have new opportunities to work to create millions of jobs in infrastructure and green jobs.”

Scott supports the Raise the Wage Act which would increase wages for workers, including tipped workers and agriculture workers.

“There was a time when minimum wage workers could afford a two-bedroom apartment,” he said.

The time a minimum wage worker could afford even a one-bedroom apartment while working a 40-hour a week job has passed, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report. The coalition found that there isn’t a state in the nation where a minimum wage worker can afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment, let alone support a family.

“The Raise the Wage Act will allow [workers] to earn a wage that will lift them out of poverty,” Scott said.

He also supports the PRO Act, which levels the playing field between workers and the companies they work for and, among other attributes, makes it easier for workers to unionize. Currently the laws are unbalanced with employers holding too much power, silencing workers.

“Companies have taken advantages of workers trying to organize. Talk to your senators to support the PRO Act. Joining a union is a right, not a fight.”