Bloomberg Announces Labor Plan Promising $15 Minimum Wage

February 15, 2020 Updated: February 15, 2020
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Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg released his plans for American workers on Saturday that promises raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, strengthening union protections and other concessions.

His proposals include signing legislation that would raise the minimum wage, providing employees with 12 weeks of paid family leave and seven days of paid sick leave, expanding overtime protections, prohibiting “right to work” laws for private-sector unions, preventing gender discrimination through several legislations, and guaranteeing the right to unionize and bargain collectively to public sector employees.

“I started out in an entry-level job, and in building my business, I have always believed that our company’s most valuable asset is our 20,000 employees–and that’s why we are committed to providing good pay and the best benefits money can buy, including industry-leading paid parental leave,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Bloomberg’s plan echos some of the plans proposed by other Democratic candidates that have garnered widespread support. Frontrunners Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden have also proposed labor policies that would increase the minimum wage, provide workers with some sort of paid family leave, and broaden union powers.

The billionaire said his plan will also provide workers’ protections for farmworkers and domestic workers, such as the minimum wage, overtime pay, and other essential labor standards. The plan would also expand protections for undocumented workers by ensuring that they can join unions, report labor violations, and receives remedies without being afraid of immigration consequences.

He also said that his plans will protect pensions and retirement savings by passing legislation and provide workers in the “gig economy” with full employee benefits.

The former New York City mayor has already spent over $300 million on his bid for the presidency, outpacing most of his rivals. Analysts from Advertising Analytics said that Bloomberg has dropped $345 million on the 2020 race between November—when he launched his campaign—and February. The analysts also said that as of Feb. 10, Bloomberg had aired about 4,106 hours worth of political ads, or 171 days if every airing ran consecutively.

Bloomberg has a net worth of about $62.8 billion. A campaign spokesman told the New York Post last year that Bloomberg would spend “whatever it takes to ensure that Donald Trump is not re-elected.”

According to RealClearPolitics, Bloomberg is currently polling in third place at a national average of 14.2 percent as of Feb. 15. He is behind Biden and Sanders, who are polling at an average of 23.6 percent and 19.2 percent respectively. Warren is trailing behind in fourth place at an average of 12.4 percent.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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