Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a series of ideas centered around unionization and worker protections in an attempt to woo middle class voters, according to Bloomberg.
The Democratic presidential candidate on Friday released a series of pledges aimed at countering what his campaign calls “the abuse of corporate power over labor,” while also encouraging workers to organize. Some of the measures build on existing legislation or efforts by the Obama administration.
Biden is presenting his labor plan days after he returned to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, for a speech touting his middle-class roots and values, and assailing all the ways he sees Trump failing to deliver for working Americans. –Bloomberg
The plan calls for “abolishing state right-to-work laws, no- poaching pacts among companies and almost all non-compete agreements — does not break much new ground in the Democratic race, and aligns him on many points with his more progressive rivals,” according to the report.
“Unions built the middle class. And the middle class built this country,” Biden said on Tuesday in Scranton.
Meanwhile, Biden has aligned himself with his top Democratic rivals in endorsing a standard set by a recent California law which makes it much harder for companies such as Uber and Lyft to classify their employees as independent contractors instead of employees.
Biden would also hold corporate executives personally liable for interference with efforts to organize, with criminal charges possible for intentional interference.
He said that he supports the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, introduced by Representative Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat, and others earlier this year. That measure would impose financial penalties on companies that interfere with unionization efforts.
Biden said he would “aggressively” pursue employers who violate labor laws, participate in wage theft or intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors. He added that he intends to push for legislation to make misclassification of workers a “substantive violation” of federal labor, employment and tax laws. He would also fund an increase in the number of investigators in various agencies, whose ranks have been cut by the Trump administration. –Bloomberg
Biden’s plan would also make it easier for employees to collectively bargain whether they are in the public or private sector – and has vowed to create a cabinet-level working group tasked with formulating a plan for to encourage unions and address economic inequality by the end of his first 100 days in office.
Perhaps the working group can figure out how employees won’t collectively bargain themselves out of a job due to outsourcing to countries with less stringent worker rights.
Read more about Biden’s plan here.