Keith Ellison Releases “Working Family Protection Plan” to Defend Workers’ Rights and Family Budgets as Attorney General

Ellison’s plan would make Minnesota’s economy more fair for working people, not just those at the top

As AG, Ellison will fight to protect the right to collectively bargain, make health care more affordable and accessible, and hold companies accountable when they violate fair pay and safety standards

MINNESOTA – At an annual picnic recognizing workers ahead of Labor Day, Congressman Keith Ellison today released his “Working Family Protection Plan,” to defend the rights of Minnesota workers and improve family budgets as Attorney General. Congressman Ellison’s plan would put workers’ rights ahead of corporate special interests; make health care more affordable and accessible for all families; and enforce the law to hold companies accountable when they don’t pay workers what they owe for the work they’ve done, or violate workplace safety standards.
 
“Most Minnesotans do not have an attorney in their family budgets, but the big corporations do,” said Congressman Ellison. “As the People’s Lawyer, I will enforce the law to put power back in the hands of Minnesota workers, to improve family budgets and reduce health care costs for all Minnesotans.”
 
Since launching his campaign for Attorney General in June, Congressman Ellison has traveled to more than 50 cities throughout the state, hearing first hand from Minnesotans about the need to make Minnesota’s economy more fair for working people, not just those at the top.
 
Corporate special interests have eroded worker power, reducing income, health care and other benefits for more and more people. While incomes for the vast majority of working families have been stagnant – even in the face of climbing health care and housing costs – the wealth of big corporations the richest Americans has continued to climb. This especially impacts Minnesota women and people of color, who often hold the low- and middle-income jobs most affected by the decline of worker power.
 
During more than a decade in Congress, Ellison has been a champion for the rights of workers. In contrast, Ellison’s opponent championed so-called “right to work” laws during his one term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. “Right to work” laws undermine the power of workers in favor of corporate special interests, making it harder for workers to band together for better wages and working conditions, resulting in lower incomes for families.
 
Below, read more about how Ellison’s “Working Family Protection Plan” would put the needs of working families ahead of powerful corporate special interests.

KEITH ELLISON’S WORKING FAMILY PROTECTION PLAN

Protect the Rights of Workers to Collectively Bargain – All Minnesota workers should have the right to band together with their fellow workers to negotiate better salaries, benefits, and working conditions for themselves and their coworkers. As Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison will:

  • Hold Employers Accountable who Illegally Suppress Unions – As Attorney General, Keith will enforce the law when employers engage in illegal tactics to intimidate workers from joining a labor union, or fire workers for trying to come together and collectively bargain.
     
  • Defend the Ability to Finance Worker Organizations – As Attorney General, Ellison will oppose so-called “right to work” laws that undermine worker power by eroding the ability of a labor union to finance their collective bargaining work. Collective bargaining improves incomes, benefits, and job conditions for all employees; “right to work” laws, which Keith’s opponent has championed, lower worker pay when family budgets are already tight.
     
  • Stand on the Frontlines with Workers Demanding Change – From the picket line to the courtroom, Ellison will stand with workers exercising their rights to collectively bargain, and to strike if needed. As Attorney General, Keith will make sure that right is never infringed upon.

Make Health Care More Affordable and Accessible – The cost of health care continues to climb for Minnesota families, putting a strain on already tight family budgets. As Attorney General, Keith Ellison will work to increase access to more affordable health care for all Minnesotans.

  • Defend the Individual Market and Coverage for Preexisting Conditions – As Attorney General, Keith will fight back against attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, which would take health care away from thousands of Minnesotans. Keith will also fight to protect coverage for preexisting conditions, so the health insurance companies can’t deny you coverage or charge you more for a prior injury on the job, or a condition like asthma or diabetes. 
     
  • Crack Down on Prescription Price Gouging and the Opioid Epidemic – As Attorney General, Keith Ellison will crack down on pharmaceutical companies who unfairly drive up the cost of prescription medication. Ensuring generic drugs are priced fairly will make health care more affordable for all Minnesotans. Keith will also hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the deceptive and aggressive marketing practices that have fueled the opioid crisis across Minnesota, to get essential resources to those affected.
     
  • Protect Women’s Health Care Choices – As Attorney General, Keith will always defend the right of Minnesota women to make their own health care choices with their doctors. Ellison will oppose any new laws that would undermine this right, and will defend Minnesota and federal law that protects this essential health coverage. 

Crack Down on Unfair and Unsafe Labor Practices – In addition to ensuring workers have the right to collectively bargain, Ellison will enforce worker safety and fair pay laws to make Minnesota’s economy more fair for working families.

  • Protect Workers’ Paychecks – While most employers pay workers what they earn and deserve, some do not pay workers their full pay for their hard work, cheating them out of overtime pay or the minimum wage. As Attorney General, Keith will enforce wage theft laws and hold offenders accountable by forcing them to repay any stolen wages, plus interest. As the People's Lawyer, Ellison will level the field by filing cases on behalf of all workers who get cheated out of their hard-earned pay.
     
  • Ensure Safe Workplaces for All Minnesotans – Minnesotans shouldn't have to choose between their health and safety and their paychecks. But that is exactly what the Trump administration has made them do by rolling back rules that keep workers safe on the job. As Attorney General, Keith will put a stop to massive companies who take shortcuts on worker health and safety just to squeeze a few extra dollars of profits.
     
  • Build a Fair Economy with Equal Opportunity – As Attorney General, Keith will ensure all Minnesotans who work hard on the job, no matter their background, have an equal shot at getting hired and promoted. Things like your age, race, religion, nationality, disability status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity should never be used against workers. Keith will fight to protect workers from employment discrimination to ensure a more fair economy for all.

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