No one who has a full time job should be in poverty. They should not struggle with paying for health care, child care or other basic living necessities. The United States is the richest country in the world, yet our workers work longer hours for less pay than their European counterparts. The time has come that we no longer accept this and we stand up for workers.
I agree with the great Republican President Theodore Roosevelt as to what qualifies as a living wage. A living wage is not only the bare minimum of what someone can make in order to survive. It must also be enough for someone to provide for their children, save for retirement, live comfortably and have money for recreation. I support raising the minimum wage to a living wage of $20 dollars an hour by 2020.
A common argument against a living wage is that it will harm small businesses. That is why, we must offer a tax credit for companies with less than 50 employees to make up the difference of the cost of the new living wage.
In other countries paid time off is taken for granted. Brazil guarantees 41 paid days off per year. Even Tunisia offers 30 paid days off a year. The United States should be no exception. I support guaranteed paid time off of 45 days per year for all workers.
Collective bargaining is a basic human right. Every worker in America benefits from collective bargaining and has for generations. Collective bargaining and organized labor have given us the 40 hour work week, safe working conditions and higher wages. Now is the time to guarantee collective bargaining rights to all workers and end right to fire laws.
We must work to close the wage gap and pay discrimination. I will fight to ensure equal pay for equal work ending all forms of discrimination in wages.
Our worker's rights laws should protect basic family values. That's why I will fight to implement paid parental leave, FMLA as well as a universal public child care system.
More than 4,500 workers die from work related accidents in the United States per year. It is a matter of life and death that we fund and empower OSHA to protect workers from unsafe working environments and practices.
So many Americans get laid off without any warning nor severance pay. If elected, I will fight to institute reasonable severance pay and warning when a company downsizes it's workers.
For too long, multi-national corporations and billionaires have enriched themselves through the exploitation of labor, this must end now.