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Harris to lead Biden task force promoting unions, labor organizing

EconomyApr 26, 2021 02:50PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Congressional delegation to Amazon plant

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Monday that will create a task force to promote labor organizing, the White House said, at a time when just over 6 percent of U.S. private-sector workers belong to unions.

The White House task force will be headed by Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will serve as vice chair of the group.

The task force will also include over 20 heads of agencies and cabinet officials, such as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the White House economic advisers Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese, the White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen.

"The President and Vice President believe that the decline of union membership is contributing to serious societal and economic problems in our country," the White House said in a fact sheet.

"Widespread and deep economic inequality, stagnant real wages, and the shrinking of America's middle class are all associated with the declining percentage of workers represented by unions."

The White House referred to the National Labor Relations Act, which was passed in 1935, to encourage worker organizing. "In the 86 years since the Act was passed, the federal government has never fully implemented this policy."

Biden's executive order specifically directs the task force to come up with a set of recommendations within 180 days to address two key issues: How existing policies can promote labor organizing in the federal government, and looking at new policies that are needed and the associated regulatory challenges.

The task force's goals include facilitating worker organizing around the country, increasing union membership and addressing challenges to labor organizing in underserved communities.

Over 65 percent of Americans approve of unions, the most since 2003, according to a 2020 Gallup poll, despite the much lower membership rate.

Organized labor faced one of its biggest setbacks in recent history after an organizing drive at an Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) facility failed earlier this month.

Harris to lead Biden task force promoting unions, labor organizing
 

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Comments (7)
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Apr 29, 2021 9:35PM ET
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Why not just strengthen labor laws to the point where unions are irrelevant? Unions just create a privalleged few at the expense of everyone.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 27, 2021 2:34AM ET
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unions are a cancer
Picaso Fish
Picaso_Fish Apr 26, 2021 7:41PM ET
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The government needs to focus on making government services cheaper, to the point where the private sector is afraid to compete. This... this plays into the right wingers / private sectors hands by making government services even less efficient.
Picaso Fish
Picaso_Fish Apr 26, 2021 7:33PM ET
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Unions in the private sector maybe might help... but surely not in the government. I mean if Biden is so concerned he could just pay them more
Picaso Fish
Picaso_Fish Apr 26, 2021 7:32PM ET
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I must have read this wrong, "Biden looking at policies that promote union organizing within the federal government." Because that's where the problems are right? Not enough government worker's are in an union and they are being left behind??
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 26, 2021 3:04PM ET
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"In the 86 years since the Act was passed, the federal government has never fully implemented this policy." THAT'S what we need - a return to the 1930's ! Joe Biden admires FDR so much, he wants HIS OWN depression !
Rachel Tommy
Rachel Tommy Apr 26, 2021 3:02PM ET
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I call BS. more unions...more control by democrats, period
 
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