BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Organizations from across Louisiana gathered on the steps of City Hall Monday, Mar. 11 to launch Unleash Local, a campaign that aims to retake local control of labor standards, such as wages. The campaigns hopes to overturn a state law that prohibits local governments from setting their own labor policies on pay and paid leave.
Organizers of Unleash Local say the state law “handcuffs communities, significantly restricting their efforts to recruit and retain workers, and build local economies that meet the needs of all of their residents.”
Unleash Local hopes to convince state legislators that this law goes against the best interests of the people of Louisiana.
“When I decided to seek my seat in the Louisiana House, I promised to seek solutions that will ensure government closest to the people, in every corner of our state, has the ability to do the most good in their everyday lives. Local citizens and businesses can better design and implement customized policies to help working families than we can in Baton Rouge. I’m proud to author a bill that empowers people everywhere to make our state more successful,” said Rep. Royce Duplessis (D-New Orleans).
Workers, employers, labor leaders, elected officials, and faith leaders all spoke out Monday about what they describe as the state’s “overreach into local labor standards.”
“It’s very important and necessary that the seafood industry pay its workers a just wage. How is it possible that plants are making millions of dollars and worker are living in misery? When the state controls local communities, it’s not right, and it’s keeping us from living with dignity,” said Marco Pillado, a guest worker in the seafood industry in Henderson.
Click here to learn more about Unleash Local.