Biden Forms White House Task Force to Encourage Union Membership

Categories: The Insider, White House

President Joe Biden issued an executive order establishing the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment to improve the federal government’s policies and practices so that more workers have access to unions and can bargain collectively with their employers. 

The task force will be chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris and vice-chaired by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Members of the task force include more than 20 cabinet members and agency heads. 

“The mission of the Task Force will be to mobilize the federal government’s policies, programs, and practices to empower workers to organize and successfully bargain with their employers,” Biden said in the executive order issued April 26. “This mission includes looking for ways to increase worker power in areas of the country with restrictive labor laws, for marginalized workers including women and people of color, and for workers in industries that are difficult to organize and lack labor protections.” 

The task force has 180 days to make a set of recommendations on two issues:

  1. Improve or change existing policies and practices to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining in the federal government. 
  2. Put in place new policies to achieve the mission.

In his executive order, Biden listed several reasons why he supports collective bargaining and explained how unions make life better for American workers when it comes to wages, benefits, job security, and working conditions. 

AFGE thanks President Biden for his efforts to give employees a voice at work. 

“On behalf of 700,000 workers represented by AFGE, I thank President Biden for creating this task force to address the urgent need of millions of American workers unable to exercise their right to join a union today because of artificial legal barriers and rampant union busting,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley. “With today’s action, he is continuing to deliver on his campaign promise to be the most pro-union, pro-worker president ever. 

President Biden has promised to make the federal government a model unionized employer, one that shows by example that employers should encourage union organizing, and neither interfere with nor undermine their workers’ organizing and bargaining efforts.

The administration’s new task force is a natural extension of that earlier policy and further proof that this administration is walking the walk, not just talking the talk, when it comes to empowering American workers, strengthening unions, and building our economy back better. Making it easier for workers to join a union will help more Americans share in the better wages, benefits, and working conditions that come with union membership – growing our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. 

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