Over the past two years, teachers marched in Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Arizona, and other states to win higher wages for themselves and better conditions for their students. The United Auto Workers struck a deal with General Motors to raise wages and prevent over-reliance on temporary labor. Airline workers are striking for better benefits. Last year, 500,000 workers went on strike, the most since the 1980’s. These strikes will only continue to grow as workers are waking up to the fact that they are working more and more for less and less. The American people are starting to notice, too. Today, union approval ratings are near 50-year highs.
As unions fight to get workers their fair share, the government is making that fight harder. State legislatures are stripping workers of key collective bargaining rights, which is pushing membership down, and last year the Supreme Court hampered unions’ ability to fairly bargain.
By restricting organizing rights, we are moving our country in the wrong direction. We must align our policies to encourage the formation of unions and expand their negotiating power, so they can adequately represent workers and win fair contracts and protections with employers. Empowering unions will help working families and put pressure on employers to provide fair wages and benefits.
While unions have fought tirelessly for over a century, another battle is upon us. The 4th Industrial Revolution stands to replace millions of union jobs with computer software and industrial robots. If union members and leaders aren’t prepared, workers could be left without a voice during the biggest economic transformation in American history.
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, General Mills workers fought and won key language that guarantees notice and leverage if the plant managers try to outsource their jobs. To prepare for the future, unions will have to fight for similar provisions as automation risks jeopardizing their member’s livelihoods. With the right leverage, unions can guarantee their ability to negotiate fair benefits and settlements to help workers’ transitions.
This fight will not be easy, and it will take working families who are willing to fight for the rights they deserve. We must protect workers’ right to unionize and pass a Freedom Dividend of $1000 a month to act as a permanent strike fund. This will help workers strike longer and harder to win a seat at the table during the design and deployment of the technologies that are shaping the future of work.
To read Andrew’s entire Union plan, click HERE.
Join the fight
Problems to be Solved
- Current practices allow some employers to prevent their employees from organizing.
As the 4th Industrial Revolution accelerates, we must ensure that the biggest winners of the 21st century economy do not suck up the gains of automation at the expense of everyone else. Unions will play a critical role in negotiating how new wealth uplifts working people. During this time of transition, it's more important than ever that unions have a seat at the table.
- Ensure unions have a seat at the table
- 21st century worker protections
As President, I will...
- Defend the collective bargaining rights of workers.
- Empower the NLRB to guarantee negotiations and fine companies for illegally hampering union formation.
- Appoint a Labor Secretary and NLRB leaders with union experience.
- Work with Congress to pass the PRO Act to protect workers’ rights to organize and negotiate on a level playing field.
- Ensure that unions are certified and recognized by both the company and the NLRB should a union receive 50%+1 of employees on a job site signing union authorization cards.
- Support the development of union automation expertise and access with AFL-CIO’s proposed Technology Institute as a model.
- Encourage sectoral bargaining for tech and gig workers so union members can easily move between jobs while expecting the same floor wages and working conditions.