Harris on Fighting for Unions: I Will Use 'Bully Pulpit,' Focus on 'Banning Right-to-Work Laws'

April 27, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) on Saturday said she would use the "bully pulpit" and ban right-to-work laws as president in order to protect unions.

Harris participated in a forum on "wages and working people," which was hosted by SEIU and the Center for American Progress Action Fund in Las Vegas. In response to a question about strengthening unions, Harris said she will use her "bully pulpit" to make sure unions are able to organize.

"We need to address that both through legislation, but also through the bully pulpit that comes with the president of the United States to speak up about the need and the right that workers have to be able to organize and fight for their rights," Harris said.

"Let's be more specific. It has to be about banning right-to-work laws. That needs to happen," Harris continued. "It needs to be about fighting to increase penalties on corporations that stand in the way of organized labor being able to do the work that is about again  advocating for American people."

Harris went on to say the presidency is about using "her executive authority" in a way to fight for the American union workers and make sure there aren't barriers in place.

Harris isn't the only 2020 presidential candidate who has discussed banning "right-to-work" laws. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who is running as a Democrat, called for a ban earlier this month while addressing the International Association of Machinists in Las Vegas, Nev.

While referencing his  Workplace Democracy Act, which makes it easier for workers to unionize and force employers into contract negotiations, Sanders talked about how it will "end, once and for all, the disastrous right-to-work laws."

"This year we have seen a right-wing think tank try to follow the disastrous Janus decision with another court case that could essentially impose right-to-work on the airline industry," Sanders said.

"In a Bernie Sanders administration, that will never, ever happen," he added.