Education News

What are 2020 candidates saying about labor unions?

By Amanda Menas

The National Education Association is focused on preparing its members for the major role they will play in the 2020 election. NEA’s 3 million members are directly impacted by state and federal labor laws that affect their rights to advocate for their profession and their students.

Some candidates offer specific policies to support union membership, while others express their support more broadly. There is a divide between candidates on whether union workers will stay on their healthcare plans or move into a public option.

But whether they are debating safety, pay, health insurance, or retirement, all candidates agree that union organizing has helped create the American middle class and are willing to fight for it.

In their own words:

Senator Michael Bennet


Vice President Joe Biden


Senator Cory Booker


Governor Steve Bullock


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Unions built the middle class in our country — and we’ve got to protect them with all we’ve got.

A post shared by Governor Steve Bullock (@governorbullock) on

Mayor Pete Buttigieg


Secretary Julian Castro


Mayor Bill de Blasio


Congressman John Delaney


Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard


Senator Kamala Harris


Senator Amy Klobuchar


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Unions are about the simple idea of shared dreams and shared prosperity.

A post shared by Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) on


Mayor Wayne Messam

Congressman Beto O’Rourke


Congressman Tim Ryan

Senator Bernie Sanders


Congressman Joe Sestak


Tom Steyer

Senator Elizabeth Warren


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With bold investments, we can fight climate change, achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal, and create more than a million good jobs here at home. So I have a plan to invest at least $2 trillion in federal money in American green research, manufacturing, and exporting. My plan has three parts: 1) A Green Apollo Program, investing $400 billion in clean energy research and development. Just like we invested in science during the space race in the 1960s, we need to invest in revolutionary clean energy technology. And I will require that production from this R&D takes place here in the U.S. – no excuses. 2) A Green Industrial Mobilization. I’ll commit $1.5 trillion to purchase clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products, boosting demand and spurring innovation. We will support only those American companies who manufacture here at home and treat their workers with respect. 3) A Green Marshall Plan. We should deploy U.S.-manufactured clean energy technology to every corner of the world, and I’ll commit at least $100 billion to encourage other countries to purchase American-made clean energy products. My plan will spur economic growth and create more than a million new jobs. It will help reverse the massive manufacturing job losses that have hurt middle-class families and hit Black workers and communities hardest. With big and bold investments in American research, American industry, and American workers, we can lead the global effort to combat climate change. See the full plan at the link in the bio.

A post shared by Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethwarren) on


Marianne Williamson


Andrew Yang

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