GBLC Report: Rewriting the Massachusetts Economy: A Three-part Worker Agenda to Protect Human Life

Amidst the ongoing crisis, our state must forge a new social contract that puts the health and safety of workers at the center of public policy.

The COVID-19 crisis has cast a new light on the value of the labor furnished by workers who previously have gone “unseen” for too long within our society, and who are now, at long last, being broadly recognized as essential. These same workers have been chronically underpaid and undervalued by large corporations that have always been more concerned with their bottom line than with the common good. 

Furthermore, the pandemic has exposed that for the vast majority of Massachusetts residents, our economy is broken. Our state lacks the basic mechanisms to take care of the most fundamental human needs such as food, housing and health for those who work and for those who are unable to work.

Now, Massachusetts has an opportunity to rewrite our economy. We cannot just reopen our state and allow CEOs and their corporations to go unregulated. The crisis has shown us that it is our labor that drives the economy and creates prosperity. And it is workers—not CEOs—who are out there risking our lives on a daily basis during this pandemic. Therefore, we must prioritize what workers need, not what large corporations want.

It is time to create a new social contract in Massachusetts that is constructed first and foremost to protect human life. 

PART I: Safety and Science

To protect human life, the Commonwealth’s immediate policies and new social contract must be driven by safety and science in all governance decisions regarding the resumption of labor and commerce.

  • Testing

  • Lower infections

  • Contract Tracing

  • Data and Reporting

PART II: Strong and Enforceable Standards

To protect human life, the Commonwealth’s immediate policies and new social contract must include stronger labor safety standards than ever before -- standards that corporations will be required by law to uphold.

  • Regulate Corporations to Keep Workers Safe

  • Pass an Essential Workers Bill of Rights

PART III: Invest in our Recovery

To protect human life, the Commonwealth’s immediate policies and new social contract must invest in our collective recovery in new ways that cure historic and exacerbated inequities.

  • Leave No Worker Behind

  • Secure Housing for All

  • Build Sustainable Public Infrastructure

PDF icon Click here to read the full report.

To download individual frontline unions' plans, click here.