Labor Day 2021, President Biden said, “[O]n Labor Day, we honor the dignity of the American worker. And every day, we remember that America wasn’t built by Wall Street. They’re not all bad folks out on Wall Street. I’m not suggesting that. But they didn’t build America. It was built by the middle class, and unions built the middle class.”
That sentiment echoes how President Biden has governed since taking office on January 20, 2020.
Just days into his term, President Biden took an unprecedented step when he fired Trump-appointed National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb and cancelled Executive Orders issued by former President Trump that restricted federal employee labor union representation.
Since then, Biden has enacted legislation that builds up America’s workers rather than propping up Wall Street. He has passed tax legislation that taxes millionaires and billionaires more fairly while protecting the working class.
While many in the labor movement lament this administration’s failure to pass the PRO Act, we have seen portions of the Act in other legislation supported by and fought for by President Biden and his allies.
Let’s look at what President Biden has accomplished to date for America’s Working Families.
### Cabinet Appointments
Appointing former Communications Workers of America Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives Jennifer Abruzzo as NLRB General Counsel. Abruzzo has exhibited strong leadership at the Board and has recently pushed to outlaw captive audience meetings used by employers to dissuade employees from joining a union.
She also announced her intention to revive the Joy Silk doctrine in an August 2021 memo to her staff. The revival of the Joy Silk doctrine would authorize unionization by card check.
In her memo, Abruzzo affirmed that the NLRB was not barred legally from reimposing the Joy Silk standard, and that it ought to do so because Joy Silk provided an effective disincentive for employers to engage in unfair labor practices.
Other notable Cabinet appointments include former union leader and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Labor Secretary and the appointment of Julie A. Su as Deputy Secretary of Labor. Both have joined picket lines and backed union members in their fights for fair contracts.
### Legislation to Lift Families
While President Biden has had to contend with a deadlocked Senate, he has managed to pass legislation across party lines that his predecessors could not. He passed the American Rescue Plan Act, which kept millions of families afloat during the pandemic, The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a bipartisan infrastructure law the is expected to create hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs, and most recently, he passed the Inflation Reduction Act which will lower prescription drug costs, health care costs, and energy costs. The legislation will also address the climate crisis, lift up American workers and create good-paying, union jobs across the country.
### Low Unemployment, Manufacturing Boom
Since taking office, President Biden has also enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in half a century at 3.5 percent and seen a boom in new manufacturing jobs, boasting in an August press conference, “Since I took office, we’ve created 642,000 American manufacturing jobs in America. We’ve seen the biggest and the fastest job recovery in American manufacturing history since the ‘50s.”
In continuing to focus on new manufacturing, the Administration worked to pass the bipartisan Chips and Science Act. This legislation injects more than $280 billion into U.S. manufacturing and research of semiconductor chips. It will boost American semiconductor research, development, and production, ensuring U.S. leadership in the technology that forms the foundation of everything from automobiles to household appliances to defense systems. It will also support good-paying, union construction jobs by requiring Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates for facilities built with CHIPS funding.
### Still Work to Be Done
While labor hasn’t gotten everything it wants or needs from President Biden, it has seen many of its needs addressed. There is still more work to be done and electing worker-friendly candidates will be among the next steps necessary to help President Biden continue to fulfill his promise to be the “most labor friendly president.”
**Remember Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2022!**