Pete Buttigieg's latest proposal aims to empower working Americans, raise minimum wage

Posted at 10:48 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 10:48:00-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg released a new proposal Friday aimed at restoring workers rights and making sure that every American can share in the country's growth.

The proposal, called "A New Rising Tide: Empowering Workers in a Changing Economy," aims to build the foundation to meet the economic challenges Americans face by raising wages and affording them more protections at work, according to Buttigieg.

“Our economy is changing, and too many Americans are working full time, some working two or even three jobs, and still finding it impossible to make ends meet,” said Buttigieg. “Things continue to get more expensive, but paychecks aren’t getting any bigger. That’s why I’m proposing that we restore fairness and balance to our economy, so that every American worker can afford a trip to the doctor, can put themselves through college, and can save enough to retire comfortably. Let’s make sure that in this coming era, the tide continues to rise — and truly lifts all boats.”

Buttigieg's plan outlines a number of actions he says need to be taken to restore worker rights and make life easier for the average American worker.

  • Passing a $15 federal minimum wage and indexing wage growth;
  • Guaranteeing bargaining rights for all American workers - including gig economy workers, fast food industry employees, and subcontract workers.
  • Advocating for equal pay and promotion for equal work through legislation requiring the public disclosure of the total pay gap at every large company.
  • Putting in place measures to ensure employers can’t interfere with union elections, including strong, multimillion-dollar penalties that scale with company size and requiring equal airtime on company time to ensure that workers also hear from union organizers ahead of union elections.
  • Expanding bargaining rights, by enshrining the right to multi-employer bargaining for workers at unionized worksites of employers in the same line of work and expanding worker protections for domestic and farm workers.
  • Instituting independent worker forums, free of employer domination and control that are elected by workers in their workplace, that are legally empowered to 1) meet and confer regularly with the company about workers’ concerns and 2) relay information to workers.
  • Awarding government contracts to companies that take the high road, meaning that they are unionized and offer good pay and benefits to their workers.

Read the full text of the plan HERE.