Wages & Worker Protections

Strong unions helped build the middle class, which in turn created opportunities for children of union households to get an education and have their own opportunities. I know this firsthand, as several members of my immigrant family, are and were union members. Unions also ensured what we believe is a basic bargain between workers and their employers -- when you work hard, you share in the prosperity your work created. Today however, union membership has declined from 35% to just 10.5% of the American workforce, which coincides with many societal ills that threaten our quality of life, namely rising income inequality, stagnant real wages, the loss of pensions, exploitation of workers, and a weakening of workers’ voices in our society. My plan strengthens organizing efforts, helping all workers receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve. In addition, my economic recovery and resilience platform will help create more union jobs as well as the skills training pathways to these good-paying, middle-class jobs.


  • Wage Theft. Employers steal from working people by paying less than the minimum wage or the prevailing wages required by law as well as not paying overtime, forcing off-the-clock work, and misclassifying workers. I support rigorous Council oversight and strengthening enforcement to protect all workers.

  • Prevailing wages. I will ensure that all workers benefit from the city’s Project Labor Agreements to receive prevailing wages in every city construction investment, such as infrastructure and transportation, as well as receive living wages for workers in all city service agreements.

  • Debarment. I will sponsor legislation to require a multi-year debarment ensuring that no government contracts, subcontracts, and grant funds go to employers and companies who engage in or hire outside firms for union-busting activities, participate in wage theft, or violate labor laws protecting workers.

  • Protect independent contractors and gig workers. Employers in construction and service industries frequently misclassify their employees as independent contractors and employer classification of “gig economy” workers as independent contractors deprives these workers of legally mandated benefits and protections. I will sponsor legislation establishing a strong three-prong “ABC test,” modeled on California law, to correctly classify employees from independent contractors.

  • Support for the PRO Act. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act strengthens workers’ abilities to organize, gives workers more power during disputes at work, and adds penalties for companies that retaliate against workers. I will work with our community to make passing this bill a priority for our federal representatives.