External Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Htzxby3xhyM?si=-sk9e-w19UmTkf9h

Video Source: Miami Workers Center
Video Description: Domestic workers in South Florida unite for workplace rights and justice

Florida’s labor history makes it clear that tilting power toward working people requires organized, proactive, and ongoing advocacy. With few exceptions, Florida’s labor policies have leaned overwhelmingly in employers’ favor since its 1845 statehood. Today, the Legislature continues to further policies that erode unions and workers’ rights.

It is paramount that all Floridians mobilize and work in coalition with supporters of pro-worker policies to both limit harmful legislation in the short term and push for inclusive laws in the long term, emphasizing those that impact Black, Latina/o, and immigrant Floridians. Thus far, successful advocacy has curbed child labor, proliferated local wage theft programs, secured collective bargaining rights for public workers, and passed a $15 minimum wage, among other wins.

There is more work to be done to enforce wages for low-income earners and protect those intentionally excluded from workplace rights, like domestic workers. In 2023, a promising local proposal emerged for a Miami-Dade Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. South Florida has set important precedents for other pro-worker legislation (e.g., the first of numerous local wage theft programs in the state; the first to attempt to set a local minimum wage), so a successful domestic workers ordinance would likely encourage other localities to follow suit. At the state level, reestablishing a Florida Department of Labor equipped to enforce the rising minimum wage and pursue workers’ wage theft claims would benefit nearly all working Floridians.

To ensure a satisfied workforce and stable economy, Florida needs a government that works for everyone. After all, as economist Joseph Stiglitz once said, “The only true and sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity.”