White House unveils recommendations to promote union membership

President Biden speaks from the White House
Associated Press/Patrick Semansky

The White House on Monday released a lengthy report detailing recommendations to bolster union membership among federal government employees, the product of a task force President Biden convened early on in his presidency.  

The 43-page report outlines almost 70 recommendations for federal government agencies to promote union membership and collective bargaining.

A White House official said that Biden has accepted the recommendations and that the task force plans to submit a second report to the president within six months that outlines the progress in implementing the recommendations as well as additional proposals.

Among their recommendations, the task force directed the Office of Personnel Management to remove “unnecessary barriers” to union organizing and membership within federal workplaces.

The report says that four agencies will remove impediments to allow union organizers to talk with federal employees and employees of federal contractors on federal property about the benefits of worker organizing.

Additionally, the report directs four agencies to ensure that federal contract dollars do not support anti-union campaigns.

Vice President Harris serves as the task force’s chairwoman and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh as its vice chairman. Biden, who ran on a pledge to be the most pro-labor president in history, convened the group with an executive order last April with the goal of identifying ways the executive branch can use its authorities to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining.

“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 report states.

Despite his pledge, the president has struggled to deliver on pro-worker legislative priorities in his first year in office due to impediments to passing bills in the 50-50 Senate.

Biden has urged the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act, which passed the House last year but stalled in the Senate. 

Tags Biden policy federal employees federal workforce Joe Biden Marty Walsh Union White House workers rights

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