Last week, Bernie Sanders rolled out his Workplace Democracy Plan.
Barry Eidlin, a writer at the hard left wing publication Jacobin Magazine, gave Sander’s plan a warm endorsement.
He declared that the plan is “based in a deep and sophisticated understanding of the fundamental problems facing workers today; it is the most serious, comprehensive, and equitable plan for promoting workers’ rights ever proposed by a major US presidential candidate.”
Eidlin noted that Sander’s plan “is a comprehensive effort to reorient labor policy around the idea that these policies exist to actively promote workers’ rights, as opposed to setting up the state as an ostensibly “neutral” arbiter to balance labor and management’s competing interests.”
The Assistant Professor of Sociology at McGill University highlights Sanders’ supposedly innovative “majority sign-up” process, “whereby workers unionize when a majority in a workplace says they want a union by signing authorization cards.”
Eidlin praised Sanders’ plan for extending union rights to public sector as well.
Additionally, Eidlin noted that the “WDP recognizes that workers’ rights can only be exercised and enforced collectively.” For the sociology professor, right-work-laws are the boogieman, and Sander’s plan is praiseworthy because it gets ride of these laws.
Eidlin expands on this:
The WDP recognizes that workers’ rights can only be exercised and enforced collectively. Too often, employers and courts have used a warped interpretation of individual rights to undermine workers’ collective rights. Nowhere is this more apparent than with “right-to-work” laws, which use the pretext of protecting individual workers’ right not to join a union to erode union solidarity.
In his view, Sanders’ WDP does the trick by eliminating right-to-work.
They do so by allowing individuals in unionized workplaces to avoid paying the costs associated with negotiating and enforcing the contracts from which they benefit. The WDP would close that loophole by banning right-to-work laws.
Eidlin believes that Sanders’ plan will set out to do what Franklin Delano Roosevelt failed to accomplish during the New Deal and give workers’ the ability the right to fully organize. He claims that FDR’s measures were “toothless” and provide “no mechanisms for guaranteeing or exercising the right to organize.”
The associate professor concludes by stating that Sanders “knows it will take a fight, and with the WDP, he is mobilizing troops for battle.”
Sanders employed this rhetoric in a tweet on the day that he revealed his plan: “If there is going to be class warfare in this country, it’s about time the working class won that war.”
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