Labor unions and the workers they represent were once the heart and soul of the Democratic Party.
A survey my team of labor scholars at MIT conducted about five months after the election showed that most workers feel they lack a voice at their jobs. Many Americans apparently felt that Donald Trump did a much better job than Clinton showing he was on their side and had a plan to help them.
As I watch the 2020 presidential debates, I wonder: Will Democrats make the same mistake? Or will they return to their roots and put the full range of workers’ needs and aspirations front and center in their campaigns?
Some of the candidates vying to be the 2020 nominee have offered plans to support organized labor, but they mainly endorse bills already in Congress to shore up collective bargaining rights. None have offered a clear vision and strategy for assuring workers have a voice in the key decisions that will shape the future of work.
This won’t be enough to give workers the stronger and broader voice at work they are calling for today.
In our 2017 survey, we learned two key things about what workers actually want…..