This morning, congressional Democrats released a new plank of their “Better Deal” economic agenda, this time focused on strengthening collective bargaining rights and “giving workers the freedom to negotiate a better deal.”
Collective bargaining is crucial to reducing inequality and ensuring that low- and middle-wage workers earn a fair return on their work. As productivity has risen over the last several decades, wages have remained flat for the majority of working people while skyrocketing for those at the top. It is heartening and timely that the Democratic caucus is focused on raising wages for American workers—recognizing that the decline in bargaining power for workers has contributed as a central factor to the lopsided economic outcomes in recent years.
EPI has long recommended many of these policies in our research, as highlighted in our “Real Agenda for Working People.” It’s time that Congress moves to strengthen workers’ rights to collective action, which are under attack on all fronts at the state level. We urge Congress to follow up these proposals with concrete legislative action.