Elizabeth Warren Just Released a Wide-Ranging Plan to Give Power Back to Workers

The Massachusetts Democrat promises it will be “the most progressive and comprehensive agenda for workers since the New Deal.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks after she joined striking Stop & Shop supermarket employees on the picket line in Massachusetts.Josh Reynolds/AP

Just two weeks after she joined the picket line outside a General Motors assembly plant in Detroit, Senator Elizabeth Warren on Thursday morning released a wide ranging labor plan, which promises to tackle an overarching problem: “American workers don’t have enough power.” The 14-page document, significantly longer than both Vice President Joe Biden’s and Senator Bernie Sanders’ plans, includes provisions to protect union workers, independent contractors, and employees that have historically been discriminated against, such as LGBTQ people, people of color, people with disabilities and pregnant people. 

On the first day of a Warren administration, the Massachusetts Democrat promises to sign an executive order mandating a $15-an-hour minimum wage for federal contractors. She intends to eventually extend that minimum wage to all workers—including tipped workers—through federal legislation. 

The plan also calls for the passage of legislation that allows public sector workers, graduate students, gig-economy workers, farm workers, domestic workers, home care workers, and some managers to unionize. Like her fellow presidential frontrunners Biden and Sanders, Warren recommends repealing right-to-work laws (which gut union funding) and prohibiting companies from permanently replacing workers on strike. But she takes it a step further with promises to strengthen enforcement authority of the National Labor Relations Board and appoint “a demonstrated advocate for workers to fill any Supreme Court vacancy.”

“We cannot have a truly democratic society with so little power in the hands of working people,” Warren writes in the plan. “We cannot have sustained and inclusive economic growth without a stronger labor movement. That’s why returning power to working people will be the overarching goal of my presidency.”


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.