ODP Labor Day Special Edition: Top Tier 2020 Dems In Their Own Words

Happy Labor Day #FriendsOfThePlanet! We hope that you’re taking the day off to spend some time with friends and family and are enjoying this last weekend of summer. This morning, we wanted to honor workers and their contribution to our nation and recognize how things might improve for them after the 2020 election. So we’ve pulled excerpts of the top Democratic candidates’ statements from their climate plans on labor issues and a just transition for workers.   


Biden: “Fulfill our obligation to workers and communities who powered our industrial revolution and subsequent decades of economic growth. This is support they’ve earned for fueling our country’s industrial revolution and decades of economic growth. We’re not going to leave any workers or communities behind.

 …President Biden will defend workers’ rights to form unions and collectively bargain in these emerging and growing industries; pursue new partnerships with community colleges, unions, and the private sector to develop programs to train all of America’s workforce to tap into the growing clean energy economy; incorporate skills training into infrastructure investment planning by engaging state and local communities; and reinvigorate and repurpose AmeriCorps for sustainability, so that every American can participate in the clean energy economy. These efforts will be worker-centered and driven in collaboration with the communities they will affect.”


Buttigieg:support major direct investment to build a 100% clean energy society….Climate security is a life-and-death issue for our generation. Pete knows it is long overdue to take bold, decisive action to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution once and for all while creating new, high-paying jobs. We will rise to the challenge and do it in the American wayby building and innovating. We will work with communities to ensure the transition to clean energy is inclusive and fair for all.”

Mayor Pete has a specific plan to tackle issues plaguing rural America and rural jobs in particular. He explained that, “as the world and the economy changed, our community was left behind. Factories closed, jobs were lost, and young people moved away. Newsweek called us “dying.”” Buttigieg goes on to explain that in order, “To revitalize America’s rural economy and spur job creation, my administration will invest up to $500 million to create 1,000 Regional Innovation Clusters. By bringing together training, technology, and talent, these clusters will support the growth of rural businesses and jobs. We’ll launch a new generation of rural entrepreneurs — from graduating students to returning veterans — with a focus on combating climate change.


Harris: “With American ingenuity and imagination, we can forge a Green New Deal to tackle the climate crisis, build a clean economy that creates good-paying jobs for the future, and confront environmental injustice head on.”

In addition, Senator Harris (along with Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington) also recently introduced the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act, the first-ever national set of legislation ensuring the rights and protections of millions of domestic workers throughout the country saying, “Every day, over 2.5 million domestic workers across the United States provide care to children, aging Americans, people with disabilities, and homes. However, these workers- which include nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers- endure systematically low pay, sexual harassment, and a historical lack of protections under federal and state labor laws. This legislation addresses the exclusions of the past, and establishes innovative solutions to long held problems within this sector.”


O’Rourke:Mobilize $5 Trillion for Climate Change with Investment in Infrastructure, Innovation, and Our People and Communities.  After all, we cannot, and will not be able to address this challenge without organized labor, including those already dealing with changes to their industry; farmers and ranchers; communities of color; businesses; or the young people who have the most to lose and the most to contribute.

….Our People and Communities, especially those on the front-lines of a changing climate and those disrupted by the forces of an economy in transition, to whom we look for our inspiration and leadership. $650 billion in direct resources that will mobilize at least $1.2 trillion in capitalThis investment will support the pensions and health care benefits that are owed to the workers, including those in the coal industry, who have built our economy over the last century by risking their lives and investing their labor. At the same time, it will also invest in the workers who will build our economy over the next century to support an America with cleaner air, cleaner water, and a more resilient and fair economy that can compete and lead around the world.”


Sanders: “A just transition for workers.  Bernie has fought for workers his entire career. He understands that coal miners and oil-rig operators are not the problem. Fossil fuel workers have powered the country for more than a century, working in dangerous and precarious jobs to provide for their families. They have given their lives on unsafe, under-regulated worksites, and they have seen their pensions get cut, their health care get stripped away, and their jobs disappear while fossil fuel executives rake in billions.

…For too long, this country has neglected workers displaced by government policy. NAFTA and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, which Bernie opposed, eliminated millions of jobs and left entire communities devastated. Bernie will put workers first.

…This plan will prioritize the fossil fuel workers who have powered our economy for more than a century and who have too often been neglected by corporations and politicians. We will guarantee five years of a worker’s current salary, housing assistance, job training, health care, pension support, and priority job placement for any displaced worker, as well as early retirement support for those who choose it or can no longer work.”


Warren:”…With big and bold investments in American research, American industry, and American workers, we can lead the global effort to combat climate change — and create more than a million good jobs here at home….my plan will meaningfully increase economic growth and create more than a million new jobs. It will help reverse the massive manufacturing job losses of the last two decades that have hurt middle-class families and hit Black workers and communities hardest — all while allowing America to lead the global effort to address climate change.

…Green Industrial Mobilization.  “To ensure that this commitment creates good American jobs, it will require that all manufactured products are made in the United States, and that all companies that receive federal contracts, at a minimum:

  • Pay all employees at least $15 per hour, subject to adjustments for inflation;
  • Guarantee employees at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave;
  • Maintain fair scheduling practices; and
  • Ensure that employees may exercise collective bargaining rights, such as by posting notices of collective bargaining rights and maintaining complete neutrality with regard to union organizing.”

Photo: MROnline.org

Up Next

Sink or Swim

Sink or Swim

While Senator Joe Manchin leads the opposition to climate provisions in President Biden’s budget bill, his own state is the most exposed to floods in the nation, according to new data released this month by the nonprofit organization First Street Foundation. Over 60% of West Virginia’s power stations are at risk, twice the average and […]

Continue Reading 92 words
New Leak Reveals Fossil Fuel Nations Urged IPCC to Dilute Upcoming Report

New Leak Reveals Fossil Fuel Nations Urged IPCC to Dilute Upcoming Report

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Documents obtained by Greenpeace UK’s investigative journalism team Unearthed reveal that many coal and oil-rich nations have urged the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to water down its upcoming report on the world’s options to fight climate change successfully. Thousands of comments were sent to the IPCC’s […]

Continue Reading 425 words
Cornerstone Climate Policy on the Chopping Block in Budget Bill Debate

Cornerstone Climate Policy on the Chopping Block in Budget Bill Debate

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Vital climate measures in the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) may be on the chopping block as the debate over President Biden’s extensive budget package continues in Congress. Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV) is leading the charge to cut the CEPP, telling the White House he strongly opposes the […]

Continue Reading 479 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.