UNITED STATES NEWS

As worker actions continue nationwide, White House highlights how administration is helping unions

Aug 28, 2023, 11:44 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — As worker actions continue from Hollywood to Detroit, and new labor unions crop up at firms like Starbucks and Amazon, the White House on Monday was highlighting its effort to bolster worker organizing throughout the U.S.

President Joe Biden is counting on critical labor support as he campaigns for a second term in office, holding his first re-election campaign rally at a Pennsylvania union hall in June, declaring: “I’m proud to be the most pro-union president in American history.” The White House and Treasury on Monday issued a joint analysis on what the administration sees as the importance of unions, and also the White House efforts to safeguard and bolster them.

There is “evidence that unions strengthen the middle class and grow the economy” by raising wages of members and improving health care, retirement and predictable scheduling plan benefits, according to the analysis.

“There have been recent signs of a reinvigorated labor movement, as union election petitions in 2022 bounced back from the pandemic to their highest level since 2015,” the analysis says “and public opinion of labor unions is at its highest level in over 50 years.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, who leads the White House Labor Task Force, created to work with federal agencies to use their existing authority to support labor organizing and bargaining, told reporters unions were critically important.

“When union workers bargain for higher pay, it increases pressure on non-union companies to raise pay as well to stay competitive in the labor market,” she said.

The administration’s show of support comes as unprecedented worker organizing — from strike authorizations to work stoppages — hit multiple industries this year, including, transportation, entertainment, hospitality and healthcare.

Workers calling for higher wages, better working conditions and job security, especially since the end of the pandemic, have been increasingly willing to walk out on the job as employers face a greater need for workers.

The Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations Labor Action Tracker logged 424 work stoppages — which includes 417 strikes and seven lockouts — involving approximately 224,000 workers in 2022.

Despite the coverage of strikes and an administration that claims it is friendlier to unions, membership numbers are still waning nationally. A January BLS report states that 11.3 percent of U.S. workers were represented by a union in 2022, down by 0.3 percent from a year ago. Globalization, automation and the deterioration of legal support to workers over decades has brought down union participation numbers, administration officials said.

Hollywood writers have been striking since early May and have not yet made a deal with the studios. Starbucks workers have unionized at more than 350 stores across the country and a collection of Amazon workers have joined the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters, in hopes of gaining union recognition.

Most recently, auto workers represented by the United Auto Workers union— which still has not endorsed Biden’s 2024 presidential run — voted overwhelmingly to give leaders the authority to call strikes against Detroit car companies Stellantis, General Motors and Ford if a contract agreement isn’t reached.

The contract is set to expire in September.

Since Biden took office, the administration has implemented a slew of executive orders, made it easier for union representatives to organize on federal property, and strengthened retaliation protections for private sector workers.

The nation’s top labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, have endorsed Biden’s 2024 campaign.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the administration’s findings on unions “challenge arguments that unions hold back growth.”

“Unions could contribute to reversing the stark increase in inequality we’ve seen in recent decades, promoting economy-wide growth,” she said.

United States News

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

29 minutes ago

Associated Press

Rangers recover the body of a Japanese climber who died on North America’s tallest peak

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Rangers have recovered the body of a Japanese man who died after an apparent fall while climbing North America’s tallest peak, authorities said Tuesday. Denali National Park and Preserve identified the climber as T. Hagiwara, from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. He was identified by his first initial in keeping with his family’s […]

54 minutes ago

Associated Press

Detroit could be without Black representation in Congress again with top candidate off the ballot

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit Democrat will not appear on the ballot after building significant support within the party in his attempt to unseat U.S. Rep. Shri Thanedar in Michigan’s August primary, after election officials determined that he had not submitted enough valid signatures. Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett’s ruling on Tuesday to keep […]

1 hour ago

DeAnn Kilgore grappled with the unexpected letter from her husband's killer, Michael Moore. Despite...

SuElen Rivera

Letters lead to meeting killer, life-changing moment

DeAnn Kilgore grappled with the unexpected letter from her husband's killer, Michael Moore. Despite initial reluctance, she read it, prompting a profound journey of forgiveness and spiritual healing for herself and her family.

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Hawaii officials stress preparedness despite below-normal central Pacific hurricane season outlook

HONOLULU (AP) — This year’s hurricane season for waters around Hawaii will likely be “below normal” with one to four tropical cyclones across the central Pacific region, forecasters said Tuesday. A near-normal season has four or five cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. Last year, during strong El Nino conditions, four tropical […]

2 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

As worker actions continue nationwide, White House highlights how administration is helping unions