Strong unions built the great American middle class. Everything that defines what it means to live a good life and know you can take care of your family – the 40 hour work week, paid leave, health care protections, a voice in your workplace – is because of workers who organized unions and fought for worker protections.
Today, there’s a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers. It’s been raging for decades, and it’s getting worse with Donald Trump in the White House. Republican governors and state legislatures across the country have advanced anti-worker legislation to undercut the labor movement, eviscerating collective bargaining, and in the process, drive down wages and destroy good-quality middle-class jobs.
Joe Biden believes the federal government should not only defend workers’ right to organize but also encourage collective bargaining. That’s the mission put forward by the National Labor Relations Act, signed into law in 1935, which states that “encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining” is part of the “policy of the United States.”
Joe Biden is proud to have the endorsement of the International Association of Firefighters for Democratic nominee for President.
BIDEN WILL ENCOURAGE AND INCENTIVIZE UNIONIZATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
A co-sponsor of the original Employee Free Choice Act, Biden supports workers choosing to form a union if a majority signs authorization cards electing a union to represent them. As president, Biden will enact the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, making corporate efforts to thwart unionization – for example, through captive-audience meetings – illegal. Biden believes fines for intimidation should be $50,000 or more every time an employer breaks the law, and for bigger companies, the punishment should be even higher. Serious penalties should be paid out of CEOs’ own pockets. In addition, Biden will nominate members of the National Labor Relations Board who are pro-union, so the law and penalties will actually be enforced. In the months ahead, Biden will put forward a plan to grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class by encouraging unionization and collective bargaining.
BIDEN WILL HELP ALL WORKERS BARGAIN FOR WHAT THEY’VE EARNED
As president, Biden will:
- Increase the federal minimum wage to $15.
- Stop companies from misclassifying low-wage workers as managers in order to avoid paying them the overtime they’ve earned.
- Stand up against wage suppression through non-compete agreements. There’s no reason for these agreements except to hold down wages.
- Put an end to unnecessary occupational licensing requirements.
- Fight back against attempts to repeal Davis-Bacon standards.
|BIDEN VOTES FOR LABOR: A LONG-STANDING RECORD OF FIGHTING FOR WORKERS AND UNIONS
Vice President Biden has stood with and fought for workers again and again. He helped get state and local laws increasing the minimum wage across the finish line – including in New York State and Los Angeles. As Vice President, he called out “the most direct assault [on unions] in generations” when governors in states like Wisconsin and Ohio eviscerated collective bargaining rights. When President Obama put Vice President Biden in charge of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he ensured construction workers were paid prevailing wages, essential for maintaining middle class jobs. That kick-started 75 months of private-sector job creation during the Obama-Biden administration – the longest uninterrupted streak of job growth in history – and added 15 million jobs. And, he secured an expansion of the SAFER Act to keep more firefighters on the job during the Great Recession.
Biden’s commitment to fighting for workers and unions is longstanding. As a Senator, he was one of the original co-sponsors of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made it eased workers’ ability to unionize. In 1975, he was a champion of secondary boycotts, a critical method workers need to fight for fair working conditions. Both provisions are included in congressional Democrats’ Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. As president, Biden will sign the PRO Act into law.