A Biden-commissioned labor report detailing plans to boost union membership is expected to be released today.
Since taking office, Biden has proven to be among the most pro-union presidents, regularly asserting that economic inequality and unmoving real wages are directly correlated with declining union membership in the public and private sectors. He has publicly voiced his support for Amazon workers in Alabama attempting to unionize and has created the White House Task Force, led by Kamala Harris, that seeks to protect workers’ right to organize and encourage collective bargaining.
The labor report comes amidst widespread worker strikes at Kellogg factories, film studios, and New York hospitals, increasing the urgency for meaningful labor policies. Although union membership has declined to 10.8% of employed Americans, nearly half of the 1983 rate, public support for unions is increasing, reaching 65% in 2020.
The Biden-commissioned report and future actions from the Task Force are likely to focus on increasing union density rates by ending employer tactics that intimidate workers. This could mean imposing penalties on anti-union meetings or encouraging unionization among workers not covered by the National Labor Relations Act. Moving forward, expect the Task Force to develop ways to position the federal government as a model employer that encourages worker organization.
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Ava is an Analyst and regular contributor to the Daily Brief. She focuses on political and economic developments across Latin America and the Caribbean.