NYC Progressives Lead the Way on Workers’ Rights and Racial Justice
July 20, 2015 | 2:20 EST
Last year progressives took power in the New York City Council and elected Progressive Caucus Co-Chair andLocal Progress Board Member Melissa Mark-Viverito as the Speaker of the New York City Council. This month the council passed two important pieces of progressive legislation demonstrating that when progressives lead, we can achieve major policy victories.
One policy victory is a law requiring car washes to obtain licenses, and take out a $150,000 bond to cover potential lawsuits and pay wage theft claims, providing a layer of protection to workers at non-union carwashes. This victory will help raise standards for workers, preventing wage theft, long shifts without breaks, and unpaid overtime work. This victory will help raise standards for workers, preventing wage theft, long shifts without breaks, and unpaid overtime work.
New York City also passed Ban the Box legislation, in an effort led by Local Progress member Jumaane Williams. This legislation restricts the ability of employers to view applicants’ criminal histories early in the hiring process.
These victories are the result of multi-year fights by workers, elected officials, and advocacy organizations such as Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, and VOCAL-NY.