Biden releases plan to bolster unions, curtail ‘abuse of corporate power’

White House hopeful Joe Biden Friday unveiled a new plan to support unions and workers’ rights to organize, and to restrict the “abuse of corporate power” over employees.

The plan, which promises to fight against “a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers,” would seek to incentivize unionization and collective bargaining, prevent employers from hindering workers’ organizing efforts and bolster labor protections.

Biden and other Democratic hopefuls have aggressively courted union support, with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) frequently joining striking workers. The former vice president held his first campaign rally after entering the 2020 race at a Teamsters banquet hall in Pittsburgh. 

“Strong unions built the great American middle class,” the plan notes. “Today, however, 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.”

“Biden is proposing a plan to grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class – the backbone of the American economy – by strengthening public and private sector unions and helping all workers bargain successfully for what they deserve.”

Biden’s plan seeks to bolster unions’ power by codifying an Obama-era policy allowing for shortened timelines for union election campaigns, providing a federal guarantee for public sector employees to bargain for better pay, benefits and working conditions and supporting legislation to ban permanent replacements for striking workers, among other proposals.

The former vice president also promises to create a Cabinet-level working group to focus specifically on promoting union organizing and collective bargaining in the public and private sectors.

Turning to corporations, Biden says he would back legislation to implement financial penalties on companies that interfere with workers’ organizing efforts and boost funds to increase the number of investigators in labor and employment enforcement agencies to help prevent intentional misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

Biden would also eliminate noncompete clauses, revive regulations mandating companies report workplace injuries and work to force corporations to pay employees any overtime they are due.

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