The White House workers’ task force, which is chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris, publicly released a report Monday that offers nearly 70 recommendations to promote pro-union policies and practices in the federal government.
The release of the report from the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment comes months after it was delivered to President Joe Biden in late October, a White House official told CNN, and the President has accepted the recommendations.
“As the President has said, ‘unions built the middle class.’ They ‘lift up workers, both union and non-union.’ At its core, it is our administration’s belief that unions benefit all of us,” the official said in a statement. “The Biden-Harris Administration believes that increasing worker organizing and empowerment is critical to growing the middle class, building an economy that puts workers first, and strengthening our democracy.”
The suggestions are meant to “promote worker organizing and collective bargaining for federal employees, and for workers employed by public and private-sector employers,” according to the report. “The recommendations include ways to increase private sector workers’ access to information about their existing right to join and/or organize a union, and the legally-defined process of how to do so.”
Those recommendations include eliminating “barriers to union organizers being able to talk with employees on federal property about the benefits of organizing a union,” at agencies including the General Services Administration and the Department of Interior. The report also recommends ensuring “federal contract dollars are not spent on anti-union campaigns,” at the Department of Labor, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services, among other issues.
In April 2021, Biden created the task force via executive order and directed the group to make a set of recommendations within 180 days on how existing policies, programs and practices could be used to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining in the federal government and what new policies are needed to achieve its mission. The task force is vice-chaired by Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and includes more than 20 Cabinet members and heads of other federal agencies.
The report’s release comes after Biden signed an executive order Friday while in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, that’s aimed at boosting union labor for federal projects paid for by the bipartisan infrastructure law that passed last year.