Workers' Rights


America’s working families are facing tremendous challenges today at every level of government, made worse by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stagnant wages, attacks on collective bargaining, attempts to weaken retirement security, and a tax code that is rigged against working people have all weakened the American Dream.

The percentage of workers represented by labor unions has dropped from 27% to less than 12% between 1979 and 2019. And as a result, a majority of Americans are not part of the middle class.

The single most effective way to rebuild the middle class is to provide more Americans with the benefits of union representation. Unions empower more Americans to participate in our democracy. They give working families a strong voice. They stand up for the rights of workers, women, people of color, and retirees.

When unions are strong, America is strong.

As a member of House Democratic leadership, Cicilline helped design and deliver on an agenda to strengthen the middle class, and he is working hard every day to create, expand, and sustain economic opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.

David Cicilline is standing up for working families, championing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which passed the House and strengthens the federal laws that protect workers’ right to join a union.  David has been a strong advocate of the Raise the Wage Act, legislation approved by the House that will increase the federal minimum wage, provide a higher minimum wage for tipped workers, and remove politics from future minimum wage increases by indexing it to median wage growth. And, Cicilline co-sponsored the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, which the House passed in 2019 and would help provide retirement security to more than 1 million retirees.

David also knows that one of the most important steps toward achieving the American Dream is access to affordable housing. Cicilline has cosponsored several measures aimed at ensuring housing security for more Rhode Islanders, including the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and the HOME Investment Partnership Reauthorization Act, two measures to significantly boosting the creation of new affordable housing units. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, David has fought for safeguards to prevent home evictions and foreclosures, and provide federal funding for renter relief assistance.

And while President Trump and Senate Republicans chose to pause on additional relief efforts, even as the effects of COVID continued to overwhelm our state and nation, David never stopped fighting for Rhode Island. This unprecedented crisis requires an unprecedented federal response, and that’s why Cicilline and House Democrats continued pressing for passage of the Heroes Act. This fifth relief package would deliver more than $5 billion in urgently needed funding to our state, cities, and towns, extend expanded unemployment benefits, provide hazard pay for frontline workers, strengthen aid for small businesses and nonprofits,  and ensure we have the needed resources for testing, tracing, and treatment so we can safely reopen our economy, schools, and communities. 


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