President Biden on Monday signed an executive order creating a new White House task force focused on promoting labor unions that will be led by Vice President Harris.
The executive order directs the new task force to make recommendations within 180 days on how already existing federal policies and programs can be used to help workers organize and collectively bargain in the public and private sectors.
The task force, formally known as the “Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment,” will also make recommendations on potential new policies and regulatory changes.
“The Task Force will be dedicated to mobilizing the federal government’s policies, programs, and practices to empower workers to organize and successfully bargain with their employers,” said a White House fact sheet outlining the executive order.
Among its goals, the task force will aim to bolster the use of labor unions in areas with restrictive labor laws and to empower female workers and people of color. The task force also aims to increase union membership across the country, including by promoting worker organizing and collective bargaining within the federal government.
Biden is viewed favorably by labor leaders, and Monday’s announcement is likely to be heralded by the White House as a sign of Biden’s commitment to being a pro-union president.
And let’s be clear, this is way, way, way further than Barack Obama, who was no real fan of unions, was ever willing to go.
Interestingly, this appears to be the furthest the Biden White House gone in suggesting that the Obama admin was not amazingly supportive of unions. pic.twitter.com/8lTlmUfoAE
— Noam Scheiber (@noamscheiber) April 26, 2021
I grant you this is because the bar is very low, but Biden could easily be the most pro-union president in American history by the time he is through. And because the bully pulpit is not all that important, it might also mean that it does not do much to revitalize the labor movement, but we will cross that bridge in time. Right now, this is exceedingly significant in American labor history. Good job Joe.