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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg unveiled an economic program aimed at protecting workers, particularly the ability of workers to join labor unions.
Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., is one of about two dozen Democrats running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“This plan is really aimed at protecting the American worker and really putting in the hot seat some of these bigger tech companies,” said CNN reporter Vanessa Yurkevich.
Some highlights Yurkevich reported from the plan include:
- Guaranteeing all American workers have the right to join a union;
- Introducing multimillion-dollar penalties for employers who interfere with workers’ rights.
- And legislation that makes pay gaps at every large company public.
“He’s also calling out in this plan companies like Google, Lyft, and Uber for using contractors and not hiring full-time employees,” Yurkevich said. “Contractors like Lyft drivers, for example, don’t get those full-time benefits. And what he’s proposing is that these contracted workers can form unions, they can collective bargain, and he would make it so that every company would have to follow very strict guidelines in order to determine whether or not their employees are, in fact, contractors.
“I spoke to the mayor exclusively last night and he told me that he is willing to take on the big tech companies,” she added. “He said, quote, ‘I think they need to recognize the consequences if we continue moving into an economic reality where workers are eviscerated. I have nothing against these companies when workers are doing well, but they can’t have it both ways.’
“This policy is also incredibly pro-union, which is really interesting because we know President Trump did really well with unions and the mayor says that this plan is in part to try to get those labor unions back on the supportive side of Democrats,” Yurkevich said. “And he is hoping that this plan will really resonate with those union voters.”