City workers picket for collective bargaining, stating “the majority is with us”

April 17, 2024


On Tuesday, April 16, dozens of city workers, members of the Virginia Beach City Workers Union, UE Local 111, and their community supporters picketed out front of Virginia Beach City Hall demanding collective bargaining. Earlier in the afternoon, the City Council discussed a resolution in support of collective bargaining at their work session. 

“What do we want? Collective bargaining! And when do we want it? now!” they chanted in front of City Hall. 

The majority of residents and workers in the City of Virginia Beach are in support of collective bargaining, according to the only poll ever conducted in the city. Voters support collective bargaining for city employees 60.6% to 20.3%. Numbers are similar within every district. At the hearing on April 9, twenty seven (27) spoke in favor and only twelve (12) opposed collective bargaining. 

“We understand that a majority of the community and a majority of the city workers support collective bargaining,” stated Amaziah Cummings, UE union member in the Public Utilities department. Cummings continued, "everything this is not just money, it is about fairness. We aren’t going anywhere. And you don’t want us to go anywhere. Otherwise, your toilet wouldn’t flush, you wouldn’t have water and your trash wouldn’t get picked up.”

“With collective bargaining we can level the playing field and have a voice. City workers have never had a voice,” stated Terry Green, Chair of the Virginia Beach City Workers Union, UE Local 111 and a thirty-five year employee in the Public Utilities, Water Distribution department. Terry continued, “the majority is with us.”

“It is unconscionable to think that many of the city workers who collect trash, repair and replace sewer drains, maintain fresh water systems, maintain the beautiful oceanfront and the parks, and perform many other vital services for the city cannot afford to live in the city,” stated Reverend Perez Gatling in a letter to city council last week. Rev. Gatling is pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and is also President of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Minister's Conference.  Rev. Perez continued, “With this vote, you have the opportunity to leave an indelible mark in history that will forever bear your names. Stand up. Be courageous. Vote for collective bargaining for our city workers. ‘If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.’ (Proverbs 29:14)”

The city council is scheduled to vote on collective bargaining resolution in the coming weeks, tentatively scheduled for April 30. 


The Virginia Beach City Workers Union, UE Local 111 represents hundreds of Virginia Beach city workers in Public Works, Public Utilities, Parks and Recreation, Human Services, Libraries and others departments. Learn more at