Booker unveils 'opportunity and justice' plan for workers

Booker unveils 'opportunity and justice' plan for workers
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White House hopeful Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCalifornia Dems back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup Obamas, Clintons to headline Biden's nominating convention Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report 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. 

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“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.

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 TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE in 2016.