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Empower Workers with Unions for All

Income-inequality in the United States is at an all-time high. While worker productivity has increased by 70% since 1979, real wages have not kept pace, increasing by about 12%.

Failed economic policies have increased income inequality to the highest level in half a century.

Workforce unionization has fallen by more than half, down from 20% in 1983 to 10.7% today, enabled by anti-worker Republican legislatures and Mitch McConnell’s takeover of federal courts. My plan calls for strengthening the rights of unions and workers, increasing union density in American society, and pursuing new ways of bargaining between unions and industries to ensure negotiated labor protections are a part of employment in the United States.

  • Promote the rights of workers to organize. As president, I will preempt states from instituting so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws, allow union certification if a majority of employees choose to join, and ensure unions and employers have a clear path to negotiating their first contract by passing the Workplace Democracy Act. I will also strengthen the National Labor Relations Board’s ability to levy meaningful fines on employers by creating a private right of action for labor violations, preventing the ability of employers to impede unionization, and improving worker rights by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
  • Ensure workers have a meaningful role and stake in corporate governance. I support reforms to corporate governance to encourage codetermination and a more democratic workplace. As president, I will require large, publicly traded corporations to reserve at least one-third of board seats for workers that are directly elected by non-management employees.
  • Advance the use of sectoral bargaining. This approach will allow workers to organize for higher wages across entire industries. Today unions largely negotiate with a single employer -- expanding negotiations to multiple employers with unions representing the industry’s workforce would increase worker negotiating power and improve mobility between employers within an industry. Setting the stage for sector-wide bargaining will require increasing union density and power. It can also be assisted by policies like establishing wage boards to set negotiated sector-wide wages and increasing the use of contract extensions to extend the benefits of bargaining to all workers. Throughout this campaign, I have stood with fast food workers in the fight for $15 and as president will take the next bold step in pushing for higher wages and better benefits.
  • End employee misclassification, including short-term contract workers and workers in the ‘gig economy.’ Employers deny workers benefits and labor protections by classifying them as ‘independent contractors.’ I support state and local efforts like California Assembly Bill 5 to apply a test to ensure workers have their rights respected and also support federal legislation to guarantee these protections.
  • Establish minimum standards for public service organized labor standards in federal law. For years, public service employees like city and state government employees and teachers have been left out of many federal labor protections. I will set strong minimum standards for these workers, including ensuring their right to join a union and engage in collective action, by passing the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, in addition to supporting the rights of states to go beyond federal law and require labor protections for contractors receiving state government funding.
  • Prohibit anti-competitive labor practices such as non-compete agreements and franchise non-poaching agreements that limit worker freedom and mobility. I want to level the playing field between workers and businesses and oppose practices like non-compete clauses and franchise non-poaching agreements that hold workers back. In addition to ending these practices, I will pair ending these practices with protecting small businesses facing employee poaching by large businesses, cracking down on insider trading and trafficking in confidential information, and implenting anti-discrimination laws, including prohibiting discrimination against the formerly incarcerated.
  • Ensure fair federal contracting and public programs to support well-paying jobs. The scale of federal investment needed to address urgent needs in education, housing, infrastructure, and climate change should lead to sustainable, well-paying jobs. The federal programs I have proposed, including in education, affordable and equitable housing, and green infrastructure, will be accompanied by project labor agreement requirements, Davis-Bacon standards, and community benefit agreements, in addition to minimum wage and anti-discrimination standards and support for worker unionization.
  • Pass the Schedules that Work Act to set federal scheduling standards to support stable schedules. Unpredictable schedules place a heavy burden on families, especially single-parent families like the one I grew up in. Workers deserve consistency and predictability. The Schedules That Work Act will protect workers from unreasonable and last-minute scheduling changes and require employers to provide advance notice for any changes to working hours or location.
  • Strengthen overtime rules by restoring Obama-administration rules. President Trump’s actions have removed overtime protections for 8 million workers, and I will roll back these changes to ensure workers receive the overtime pay they deserve.

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