Vowing to strengthen the nation’s labor movement, Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.) together with other Democratic lawmakers introduced the Workplace Democracy Act on Wednesday.
The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Sanders and in the House by Rep. Mark Pocan, (D-Wis.) and included many Democratic co-sponsors. If passed, the bill would “combat wage stagnation, protect workers from being penalized for organizing activity, and streamline the process for joining labor unions,” Common Dreams reported.
“We are gonna end the corporate efforts to make it virtually impossible for workers to form unions,” Sanders said.
While Sen. Sanders noted that “this is nothing radical,” he confirmed the legislation would help fight the wage stagnation and decline, which has had a negative affect on middle- and lower-income workers.
“Corporate America understands that when workers become organized, when workers are able to engage in collective bargaining, they end up with far better wages and benefits…and that is why, for decades now, there has been a concentrated well-organized attack on the ability of workers to organize,” Sanders said.
The bill would help workers establish unions at their companies by enforcing the use of a “majority rules” system. It would give workers the ability to form a union if the majority of workers at that company vote to join one. The bill would also “impose hefty penalties” on companies who try to ban employees from participating in union actions, Common Dreams reported. It would also ban right-to-work provisions.
“We must no longer tolerate CEOs and managers who intimidate, threaten or fire pro-union workers, who threaten to move plants to China if their workers vote in favor of a union, and who refuse to negotiate a first contract with workers who have voted to join unions,” Sanders said. “If we are serious about reducing income and wealth inequality and rebuilding the middle class, we have got to substantially increase the number of union jobs in this country.”