On Monday, President Biden signed an executive order creating a White House task force to promote labor organizing. The task force will be led by Vice President Kamala Harris and will also include cabinet officials and top White House advisers.
The task force will be responsible for providing recommendations on how the government can help workers join labor unions and bargain collectively. The task force’s goal is to use the power of the federal government to reverse the steady decline in union membership that has occurred over the last few decades. The task force is expected to issue their recommendations within 180 days.
The executive order states in part:
Section 1. Policy and Findings. The National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151) proclaims that the policy of the United States is to encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining and to promote equality of bargaining power between employers and employees …
In the past few decades, the Federal Government has not used its full authority to promote and implement this policy of support for workers organizing unions and bargaining collectively with their employers. During this period, economic change in the United States and globally, technological developments, and the failure to modernize Federal organizing and labor-management relations laws to respond appropriately to the reality found in American workplaces, have made worker organizing exceedingly difficult.
The result has been a steady decline in union density in the United States and the loss of worker power and voice in workplaces and communities across the country. This decline has had a host of negative consequences for American workers and the economy, including weakening and shrinking America’s middle class. Meanwhile, some workers have been excluded from opportunities to organize unions and bargain collectively with their employers by law or practice, and so have never been able to build meaningful economic power or have a voice in their workplaces.
Confirming the policies declared in Federal labor laws, substantial evidence shows that union membership increases wages, the likelihood of receiving employer-provided benefits, and job security. Union membership also gives workers the means to build the power to ensure that their voices are heard in their workplaces, their communities, and in the Nation.
Therefore, it is the policy of my Administration to encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining.
The task force represents another major pro-union step from the Biden Administration. We will be following this task force closely and will update the blog regularly regarding the findings and recommendations of the task force.