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Labor Rights and Working Americans

Standing With American Workers

Steve knows folks want a fair shot at a good job, a good salary, and good benefits. This ensures Americans can raise their family, build toward a healthy retirement, and be secure in the dignity of their work.


Prior to running for elected office, Steve represented hard-working Americans and their unions, including the Teamsters, IBEW, and Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers. The bedtime stories he shared with his children were the stories of working people in Montana doing their best for their families.

As a private citizen in 2006, Steve led a successful citizens’ initiative to raise Montana’s minimum wage and index it to inflation.

Steve knows our economy is better when the middle class does well and when we have strong unions. As President, Steve will:

  • End the corrupting influence of Big Money and corporate influence in Washington to ensure that workers have a voice in our government.
  • Fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with the recognition that some regions may require a higher wage, and increase the federal contractor and tipped minimum wage. 
  • Update labor laws to reflect the realities of a 21st century economy — an economy where employees change jobs more frequently, where consulting work has increased, and where technology and work hours and locations are significantly different than during the time when our labor laws were written.
  • Fight for an updated Employee Free Choice Act allowing for card check, faster elections, and first contract arbitration.
  • Ban employer use of social media or artificial intelligence to surveil employees and organizing efforts.
  • Support a federal paid family and medical leave program enabling parents to spend time with a newborn without losing their ability to pay for housing and food.
  • Increase the overtime pay threshold.  
  • Expand the scope of collective bargaining to include all major employee issues.
  • Work with Congress to ensure that training for workers impacted by trade agreements is a core part of any trade considerations. European nations spend five times what the U.S. spends on worker training for impacted workers. We must match that commitment to our workers.
  • Expand support for apprenticeships in blue and white collar professions, for vocational high schools, and for community colleges.
  • Work with the private sector to increase apprenticeships, reskilling and transition programs, as well as technical school training to incentivize worker training with private sector employers.
  • Fight for universal sectoral bargaining that sets a floor for wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers in different economic sectors — including independent contractors.
  • Work with Congress to require stronger worker representation and diversity on elected boards of directors. 
  • Create portable, pro-rated employment benefits tied to worker organizations and not to employers.
  • Require work councils with all employers to ensure stronger worker representation.
  • Work with Congress to ban striker replacement.
  • Empower the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor to investigate high-violation industries.  
  • Discourage federal contracting with contractors that have a history of poor labor practices.
  • Strengthen fines for interfering with organizing, and allow fines to be assessed to directors, managers, executives, and third-party agents who interfere with organizing efforts.
  • Enact a “Hatch-Act”-style framework to prevent employers who have federal contracts from campaigning against unions.
  • Work to pass legislation providing a lifeline to multi-employer pensions.
  • Ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

STEVE'S RECORD OF ACHIEVEMENT FOR LABOR AND WORKING AMERICANS

  • Fostered an economy where more people are working than ever before and wages are increasing.
  • Passed Montana’s first-ever Earned Income Tax Credit helping middle-class families keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.
  • As a private citizen, Steve led a successful citizens’ ballot initiative to raise Montana’s minimum wage and index it to inflation.
  • Extended unemployment insurance to victims of domestic violence.
  • Expanded apprenticeship programs by over 50%, connecting businesses with skilled workers and creating more good-paying jobs.
  • Created the first-in-the-nation tribal college apprenticeship program.
  • Passed an apprenticeship tax credit to incentivize businesses to create more good-paying jobs and doubled that incentive for businesses that hire veterans.
  • Increased investment in infrastructure by $400 million to update Montana’s aging infrastructure, ensure increased commerce, improve safety, and create good-paying jobs. This was the first major infrastructure package passed in a decade.
  • Signed legislation requiring contractors and subcontractors to pay prevailing wage and apprentice wage rates to workers on remediation projects in natural resource impacted communities.
  • Took on worker misclassification as Attorney General, holding accountable companies that misclassified workers as independent contractors.
  • Filed a friend of the court brief, standing up for the right to organize in both the Friedrichs and Janus cases.