Unions for All
We believe that joining together in unions is the best way for working people of all races and backgrounds to build and hold power. SEIU members and other working people have generated broad support for raising the minimum wage to $15/hr, but we need our elected leaders to think bigger than that if we want to truly shift the balance of power away from corporations and toward working people. That’s why we’re calling on presidential candidates to commit to do these four things:
- Bring employers, workers, and government together at industry-wide bargaining tables to negotiate wages, benefits, and working conditions.
- Establish the National Labor Relations Act as the floor rather than the ceiling for laws governing worker organizing, allowing states and cities to empower workers to join together in a union beyond the limits of outdated and unfair federal laws.
- Ensure that every public dollar is used to create good, union jobs and that every federal worker and contractor makes at least $15 an hour and has the opportunity to join a union.
- Put good union jobs at the center of any major economic proposal, such as Healthcare for All or the Green New Deal.
What's at Stake
Donald Trump is the most anti-worker President of our lifetime. He appointed the Supreme Court Justice who cast the deciding vote in the Janus vs. AFSCME decision, a devastating attack on working people and unions that Trump celebrated. His agencies have been relentlessly attacking workers’ rights to organize, speak up at work, and receive fair pay and benefits. President Trump’s administration:
- Stripped away $1.4 billion in overtime pay gains from 8.2 million workers.
- Issued Executive Orders attacking the collective bargaining rights of federal employees.
- Issued a rule attacking roughly 800,000 homecare providers’ ability to use common paycheck deductions for health insurance contributions, union dues, and other expenses.
- Rushed to stop a lawsuit against McDonalds for retaliatory firings, giving McDonalds the settlement that it wanted without holding it responsible as an employer of its franchisees’ workers. Making matters worse, one of the Trump appointees that approved the settlement refused to recuse himself even though he previously worked for a law firm that McDonalds hired to advise on how to fight against workers organizing through the Fight for $15.
- Allowed many employers who violate minimum wage, overtime, and other wage laws to avoid any penalty by volunteering to investigate themselves.
- Failed to develop adequate Coronavirus testing and protective equipment for frontline workers and has proposed forcing people back to work despite dangerous conditions, while shielding employers from legal liability and accountability to their employees.
- Appointed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members who have made it harder for people doing essential, underpaid work to form unions, including fast food, gig, and homecare workers. The Trump NLRB has issued decisions that allow companies to: fire their workers for protesting sexual harassment because of workers’ limited, peaceful communication with other companies at the same location; fire workers for striking too frequently; misclassify workers as independent contractors.
- The Trump Board has also issued or proposed new regulations that would: allow large corporations that indirectly control workers’ jobs to escape their responsibility to collectively bargain with workers; strip certain student-workers of their right to join a union and allow their employers to fire them for trying; deliberately slow down the union election process and allow employers to delay union elections by instigating unnecessary pre-election litigation.
We need a president committed to unrigging the rules and making it easier for working people to join together in unions. That’s how we will achieve equal pay and protection for everyone – no matter your gender, race, or who you love – and ensure all working people are paid at least $15 an hour.
Joe Biden has been an advocate for working people for decades, voting consistently to raise the minimum wage and championing a 2007 effort to reform outdated and unfair labor laws. As President, he has pledged to:
- Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and extend the right to join together in a union to working people who have previously been excluded by outdated and unfair laws, including homecare and childcare providers and independent contractors.
- End loopholes that allow corporations like McDonalds to claim that they have no legal responsibility for franchise workers, despite the fact that the corporation determines much of their working conditions.
- Support the Pro Act, which would update some labor laws to give workers more power during disputes at work, add penalties for companies that retaliate against workers who form unions, and grant some hundreds of thousands of workers collective-bargaining rights they don’t currently have. He also supports the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, which would give all public employees – some of whom have been excluded from federal labor protections – the same right as private sector workers to come together and form unions.
- Bring union members and industry together to figure out how to allow more working people to form unions and explore industry-wide contracts that could improve the lives of thousands who currently don’t have a union.
- Only award federal contracts to companies that pay a $15 wage or higher with family sustaining benefits and ensure contracts do not go to companies that violate labor laws.
- Ensure federal investments in infrastructure projects or service jobs pay living wages.