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Sanders is working on two plans that aim to give workers more influence at their companies, his office confirmed to FOX Business on Tuesday, including one that would require large corporations to contribute some of their stock to an employee-controlled fund. That fund would pay out regular dividends to workers.
This plan, first reported by The Washington Post, is still being formulated, but could turn workers into significant voting shareholders.
The other would require that a certain share of seats on a company board be given to workers.
“We can move to an economy where workers feel that they’re not just a cog in the machine — one where they have power over their jobs and can make decisions,” Sanders said. “Democracy isn’t just the opportunity to vote. What democracy really means is having control over your life.”
The progressive politician has targeted corporate greed throughout his 2020 presidential campaign, regularly calling out companies who he says don’t pay workers enough while the CEOs are earning millions. Sanders notably targeted Amazon, which ended up raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour in response. He recently went after Delta Airlines over their compensation practices and alleged anti-union efforts.
Sanders is expected to attend Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting next month, where he will make the case for improved compensation and push the company to consider allowing employees on its board. Sanders introduced the Stop Walmart Act last year which pressed the company to increase pay for workers.
Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren – another contender in the 2020 presidential race – had previously introduced legislation that would require corporations to elect workers to their boards.