Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro's 2020 presidential campaign released a three-pronged labor plan to increase membership in unions and support domestic workers and farmworkers.
The plan consists of three proposals dubbed Unions for All, Dignity for Domestic Workers and Justice for Farmworkers, which Castro described as a "workers first" labor policy.
"I believe that all work has dignity and all workers should be valued with good pay, solid benefits and the security of a strong union," he said.
Castro's Unions for All proposal seeks to double union membership in the United States, strengthen unions and workers rights and establishing new means of bargaining between unions and industries.
He pledged to preempt state "right-to-work" laws by allowing union certification if a majority of employees choose to join and pass the Schedules that Work Act to set federal work scheduling standards to prevent last-minute schedule changes.
Castro also proposed advancing the use of sectoral bargaining to allow workers to organize for higher wages across industries and prohibiting anti-competitive labor practices.
The plan would also require large, publicly traded corporations to reserve at least one-third of board seats for workers that are directly elected by non-management employees.
The Dignity for Domestic Workers centers around the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act, which would strengthen overtime protections, health and safety protections and end exclusion from anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws for domestic workers.
It would also seek to establish portable benefits such as paid family and medical leave and health care while ensuring domestic workers who report crimes or labor violations are protected from retaliation from employers or legal authorities.
Castro would also seek to provide agricultural and domestic workers a pathway to citizenship in order to ensure that employment-based immigration meets the needs of the economy.
Lastly, Justice for Farmworkers would look to include farmworkers in labor and employment law protections in addition to enforcing strict health and safety regulations including protections against pesticide exposure, poor air quality and excessive heat.
It would also ensure parity in wage protections such as overtime pay and minimum wage, while preparing them for the "economy of the future" by doubling the budget of the Department of Labor's National Farmworker Jobs Program to $160 million.