White House hopeful Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) Wednesday unveiled a new plan he says would help workers organize for better wages and working conditions.
The plan’s release comes as thousands of General Motors workers with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike to demand higher hourly wages, lump-sum payments and a better profit-sharing plan.
“I learned the power of collective action from my grandfather who was an assembly line worker and UAW union rep in Detroit,” said Booker. “He showed me how, when workers stick together, injustices can be corrected and real progress can be made.”
“That’s something I’ve carried with me my whole life — and today, as I stand with workers who are fighting for fairer wages and better benefits across the country, I’m outlining how my administration will ensure that our economy leaves no one behind.”
Under his plan, Booker would fight for legislation strengthening workers’ rights to organize a union, strike and bargain collectively.
It would also prevent employer efforts to label workers as “contractors” to avoid providing benefits. He would also boost investment in apprenticeships and workforce training programs that partner with unions and worker-led organizations.
His plan also calls for a $15 federal minimum wage, extending workplace protections to the LGBTQ community and ending the gender pay gap, platforms that are widely popular within the Democratic Party.
Booker has cast himself as a progressive ally of workers since he launched his campaign in February, though he has stagnated in the middle tier of most national and statewide primary polls.
Several 2020 contenders have come out in support of the striking GM employees in recent days. The strike entered its third day Wednesday and has shut down several plants, costing the company up to $90 million a day.
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Support for unions and other labor movements overall has become a mainstay among the 2020 primary field as the Democratic Party works to win back white working-class voters who traditionally support Democrats but backed President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in 2016.