May 19, 2016

Senator Warren Lays Out Steps to Protect Workers in the "Gig Economy"

Full text of the speech available here (PDF)

Washington, DC - In remarks delivered today at New America's annual conference, Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the challenges facing workers in the "gig economy," and identified several key steps that should be taken to better protect workers as our economy changes in the 21st century.

"Massive technological change is a gift - a byproduct of human ingenuity that creates extraordinary opportunities to improve the lives of billions," Senator Warren said. "But history shows that to harness those opportunities to create and sustain a strong middle class, policy also matters. To fully realize the potential of this new economy, laws must be adapted to make sure that the basic bargain for workers remains intact, and that workers have the chance to share in the growth they help produce."

The senator discussed a number of the challenges facing workers in the modern economy, including limited protections, reduced access to benefits, and less stability. She then highlighted several key areas where policy changes could better protect workers and help strengthen America's middle class. These changes include improving the social safety net, making employee benefits portable, and adding more legal and regulatory certainty to the labor market. Additionally, Senator Warren emphasized the importance of government investments in education, research and infrastructure to growing our economy.

"Workers deserve a level playing field and some basic protections, no matter who they work for, where they work, or how the law classifies them," said Senator Warren. "They deserve a strong safety net, dependable benefits, and the chance to bargain over their working conditions-that's the basic deal. And that's the deal that is necessary to restore a strong and sustainable American middle class."

Read a PDF copy of Senator Warren's speech here.