On Monday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order creating a White House task force to promote labor unions. This is their latest attempt to use government powers to increase union awareness.
VP Kamala Harris To Lead Task Force To Promote Labor Unions
Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the White House task force. Other members will consist of cabinet officials and top White House advisers. They will issue recommendations on how the government can help workers join labor unions. The group will also make recommendations for new policies.
The administration noted that the 1935 National Labor Relations Act explicitly sought to encourage collective bargaining. However, the law never carried out its directive in that manner.
“No previous administration has taken a comprehensive approach to determine how the executive branch can advance worker organizing and collective bargaining,” a White House statement declared.
Meanwhile, unions lobbied for the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. The proposal prohibits employers from holding mandatory anti-union meetings.
Also, it also imposes financial penalties on companies for violating workers’ labor rights. The House passed the measure in March with Biden’s support. However, it faces little chance of passing in the Senate.
Promote Labor Unions To Workers
Biden’s task force will focus on encouraging American workers to join unions and bargain collectively. In addition, the task force will find ways to make it easier for workers, especially women and people of color, to organize and bargain in companies hostile to unions.
In contrast, former President Donald Trump signed executive orders that aimed to rein in union protections and bargaining rights for federal employees. However, unions immediately challenged the orders in court. As a result, Biden revoked them immediately after taking office.
Meanwhile, experts are still figuring out what the task force can actually accomplish. However, some experts think that the task force can help push workers to bargain across industries, which is known as sectoral bargaining. If this happens, winning union elections per site becomes necessary.
Biden to Use the Federal Procurement Law
White House labor adviser Seth Harris said the task force would explore the administration’s ability to increase unionization through federal procurement law.
This measure requires the president to promote efficiency in government contracts. “The simple fact of the matter is having a unionized workforce means they are going to be paid more, they are more likely to be more productive, more likely to stay for a long time,” Harris said. “You’ll have more skilled, more experienced workers working on government procurement. You don’t have the same labor strife,” he added.
Anastasia Christman is an expert on government contracting at the National Employment Law Project. She said that technically, the federal government cannot prevent award contracts to companies that are anti-union. However, the government can likely use its leverage as a contractor to encourage companies to take a neutral stance on unions.
Biden Is the Most Pro-Union President
Previous to the task force announcement, many business leaders believe Biden is the most pro-union president in decades. They pointed out his quick removal of Trump appointees regarded as anti-labor.
Biden also earmarked tens of billions of dollars for supporting union pension plans in his pandemic relief bill. In addition, he issued a video message during the Amazon Alabama union elections warning employers not to coerce or threaten workers who are considering unionizing.
Watch the Jamarl Thomas video reporting that Biden’s new executive order on a ‘Worker Taskforce’ is a betrayal sold as liberation:
Do you agree with the creation of a White House task force to promote labor unions? Is it necessary in order to increase union awareness and membership? In addition, do you support labor unions?
Let us know what you think about worker unions in the American labor force. Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.