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Project 2025: A Warning for Labor

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The right to strike, the eight-hour day, and the minimum wage have only been recognized by federal law since the 1930s. Even those basic protections come riddled with loopholes. Important groups, such as domestic workers and agricultural workers, are excluded. Now the right wing has its sights set on stripping away those rights won by more than a hundred years of hard organizing and bloody battles.  Project 2025’s “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise” spells out just how they would do it.

Project 2025 was initiated by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, with support from over 80 organizations that have been on the front line of extremist positions. The nearly 900-page “Mandate for Leadership” report lays out detailed plans that could be put in place if Donald Trump wins the presidency this fall.

In this video, Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, co-executive director of the Highlander Center, talks with Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jackson Potter and Convergence’s Stephanie Luce about what Project 2025 could mean for workers—and what we can do to push back against the Right’s plans.

The Project 2025 report’s chapter on the Labor Department contains a few items that sound appealing, such as overtime pay for Sunday work—but the plan aims to undermine labor unions and independent worker power, and hand employers more control over their workforce. Even the positive elements are primarily in the service of a Christian nationalist agenda, aimed at bolstering a male-head-of-household, stay-at-home mother family.

Project 2025 would make it easier for employers to set up company unions, and to misclassify workers as independent contractors. It would provide more government resources to investigate unions and worker centers, but sap agencies charged with enforcing workers’ safety and rights. 

“Project 2025 comes for everybody,” Henderson says. “It comes for LGBTQIA+ folks. It comes for folks of color and people of good will of all stripes. But it particularly comes for labor. Unions and workers and all of us who care about worker justice need to take this very seriously.”


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