Dave Price came out to Gainesville’s Labor Daze Fest on Sunday not only for the music but also to broaden his awareness of local politics.
Price, a history and political science professor at Santa Fe College, said the minimum wage was among the labor issues he would like to see addressed this Labor Day.
“I think raising the minimum wage is really important,” he said. “Florida does that automatically a little bit, but we were building out of an artificially low rate. I think a big bump up would be in order.”
Georgette Hastings, recently retired from a 32-year career as a nurse at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida, said unions is the labor topic she most cares about. Hastings was active in the Florida Nurses Association before she retired.
“Today, people seem to be totally against labor unions,” she said. “They think there’s something evil among us, and I don’t feel that way.”
Hastings, therefore, was surprised by the speech given by Jon Uman, Democratic candidate for State House 21, at the annual Labor Day event.
Uman expressed his determination to protect unions and collective bargaining by fighting legislative efforts to weaken unions, protecting automatic paycheck deductions and protecting local labor and markets.
“I am in favor of (Uman’s) ideas,” Hastings said, “and I was shocked to hear him speaking so openly for labor unions and teachers, and I hope he can come through for those two groups.”
“I support the labor movement and organized labor,” Uman said, “If we are going to keep the middle class healthy, growing and strong, we’ve got to support the hard working men and women of the middle class.”
Uman is running against Republican Keith Perry for the State House 21 seat.