Biden to Order Creation of Pro-Union Task Force Headed by Harris

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Monday creating a task force to promote labor organizing as part of a broader push to strengthen unions after years of declining membership.

The order will direct the task force to propose new ways of using the federal government’s policies and programs to encourage workers to organize and successfully bargain with employers, according to the White House.

Biden’s order comes as unions continue to struggle to maintain their size and power. Membership has been declining for decades, with 10.8% of U.S. workers belonging to one in 2020, down from more than 30% in the 1950s.

The task force is led by Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and includes much of the president’s cabinet and top domestic and economic policy advisers.

Biden to Order Creation of Pro-Union Task Force Headed by Harris

The panel will have 180 days to meet with labor groups, academics and others to generate recommendations for how to to encourage worker organizing and determine whether new policies might be needed.

The White House is billing its push as the most “comprehensive approach to determining how the executive branch can advance worker organizing and collective bargaining” by any administration.

In February, Biden took the unusual step of recording a video encouraging workers at an Amazon Inc. plant in Alabama to vote in a union drive there. Workers voted against unionizing.

The administration also supports the Protecting the Rights to Organize Act, which would add additional protections to employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively.

Most Senate Democrats have signed on to the bill -- though three holdouts remain -- but that’s still short of the 60 votes needed to clear a filibuster. Most Republican lawmakers oppose it, as do the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other major corporate groups.

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