WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (Reuters) – Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh will hold a second meeting on Thursday of the White House Task Force, a group of cabinet secretaries and top aides aimed at strengthening union membership in the country. said two officials with knowledge of the matter.
The group will discuss recommendations for a report commissioned by President Joe Biden in April on how existing measures can boost trade union organization in the federal government, new measures that are needed, and related regulatory challenges. The report is expected to be released in late October, said a White House official and senior administration official who refused to be named.
The meeting on Thursday will be attended by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Home Secretary Deb Haaland and Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, the White House official said.
Others, including Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, will participate virtually.
“The group will discuss progress made by the task force to date, including key recommendations for executive action in its upcoming report,” said the White House official. It also discusses how the administration can use the powers of the federal government as an employer to encourage workers to organize.
In June, Harris held the Task Force’s first field meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spoke to union organizers about their union membership campaign and barriers to organizing.
Between 1979 and 2020, the percentage of unionized American workers fell by 14.9 percentage points, according to White House estimates. As a result of this decline, American workers are losing $ 200 billion annually in wages and benefits that they could have received under union contracts, the White House said.
President Biden’s administration is possibly the most overtly union-friendly since Harry Truman left the Oval Office nearly 70 years ago to rebuild middle class jobs, but also to tackle climate change and race and gender inequality.
Earlier this year, the U.S. labor movement suffered a major setback when efforts to organize warehouse workers at an Amazon facility in Alabama failed badly. In August, a US Labor Council official recommended repeating the landmark union election. Continue reading
The death of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who had close ties with Biden and was an influential outside voice in shaping his ambitious jobs and infrastructure proposals, has also challenged the American labor movement.
Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, Chris Sanders, and Richard Pullin
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