Biden signals support for unions

During the fall campaign, President Biden promised to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” Those weren’t empty words. He immediately fired the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel and deputy general counsel, both Trump appointees. On Sunday, February 28, 2021, he came out with a pro-union video message, partly in support of an organizing drive by Amazon employees in Alabama. Read story here.

The NLRB currently has a 3-1 Republican majority, with 1 vacancy. Biden will get to fill that vacancy and the seat of a GOP member whose term expires in August 2021, which will give Democrats a 3-2 majority. The President also picks the chairperson, and the Democratic member now holds that position.’

Today, industrial unions have all but vanished, and unions exist mainly in the public sector. Unions and their members have long been a core constituency of the Democratic Party. Their membership is increasingly non-white. The decline of unions has contributed to the hollowing out of the middle class. It remains to be seen how much Biden can do to revive the union movement, but at least he’s on their side.

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