The Platform of the Massachusetts Democratic
PART X: WORKERS’ RIGHTS AND FUTURES
Right to Organize and Strike, and Collective Bargaining.
We fully support the principle, guaranteed under federal and state law,
that employees are entitled to a free choice to form a union without interference,
intimidation, or fear of reprisals from employers. We believe the expansion
of collective bargaining assures workplace democracy and is the best remedy
to the crucial problem of wage inequality that has meant that too many families
are not sharing in the economic bounty of our nation. To make these rights
meaningful, we strongly support the right of workers to strike and to do
so without threat of being permanently replaced, and we oppose all proposals,
state or federal, that would diminish this right.
We support the creation and maintenance of full-time jobs that provide a
living wage and benefits. We are concerned by the rise in parttime, temporary,
and other contingent jobs that pay less than permanent jobs, lack benefits,
and offer no job security. This trend, demonstrated by such diverse examples
as the growth of temporary employment agencies and universities’ increased
use of adjunct professors, runs counter to our belief in a different model.
We believe jobs should deliver wages sufficient to support families, appropriate
health and other benefits, and the prospect of a secure retirement. We support
policies that promote equal pay for contingent workers doing the same work
as permanent employees, and comparable benefits or equivalent compensation
for these workers.
We believe Americans who work productively in a full-time job earn the right
to a wage that is sufficient to make ends meets and to live above poverty.
We strongly support state and federal minimum wage laws, and seek to restore
their buying power to more reasonable levels, including by indexing to inflation
the minimum wage assured by such laws. We support the state prevailing wage
law and its enforcement. We endorse the Responsible Employer Ordinance and
its requirements, which are: pay the prevailing wage, provide health insurance
for all employees, be affiliated with a state-certified apprenticeship program,
classify workers as employees and not “independent contractors,” provide
appropriate workers compensation insurance for employees, and comply with
local residency requirements when insisted upon by the community. We support
measures to halt abusive practices that unjustly reduce wages, such as unfair
and excessive payroll deductions for employer mandated transportation services.
We believe that the right of workers to be safe in their work environment
must be protected. We support the Comprehensive Occupational Safety and
Health Reform Act to strengthen the protections guaranteed to workers against
workplace hazards. We support environmental Right-to-Know laws about chemical
and other potential dangers to worker health. We oppose efforts to weaken
workplace safety standards, or the ability of OSHA or state-level agencies
to enforce them.
Discrimination in the Workplace.
We believe in equal employment opportunities for all citizens and a fair
chance to obtain a meaningful job. We endorse equal access to all trades
and occupations without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender,
sexual orientation, or disability. We endorse equal pay and benefits for
work of comparable worth. We endorse the requirement of adequate workplace
notice and uniform grievance procedures. We call for the enforcement of
civil protections for victims of discrimination and sexual harassment in
the workplace, and for extending the statute of limitations for filing workplace
discrimination and sexual harassment complaints. We believe that workplace
wage and anti-discrimination protections should extend to workers in the
public as well as private sectors.
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