Holy shit! He did it! Just to be clear: FDR never said this about any particular labor struggle, nor did he say workers generally should join a union (as the CIO cleverly attributed to him). So…this is, um, better than expected. And yes—the Bernie/Warren/AOC faction *matters.* https://t.co/UwO7lUlCz6
— Richard Yeselson (@yeselson) March 1, 2021
… Biden didn’t mention Amazon, but specifically referenced “workers in Alabama” in the video and a tweet introducing it. He said every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union, and no employer could take that away. “It’s your right…So make your voice heard,” he said.
“Unions lift up workers, both union and non-union, but especially Black and Brown workers,” Biden said in the video. “There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda. No supervisor should confront employees about their union preferences.”
Amazon, America’s second-biggest private employer, has no unionized labor in the United States, and workers at its fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, would be the first if they vote in favor. Such a decision could encourage workers attempting to organize at other Amazon facilities…
Biden has vowed to increase union membership in the United States after years of steady declines.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the union membership rate in the private sector was around 6.2% in 2019, compared to around 20% in 1983.
The Washington Post adds:
… “We haven’t had this aggressive and positive of a statement from a president of the United States on behalf of workers in decades,” said Faiz Shakir, a former senior aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the founder of More Perfect Union, which has released a series of videos on the Amazon unionization drive. “It is monumental that you have a president sending a message to workers across the country that if you take the courageous step to start to unionize you will have allies in the administration, the NLRB, and the Labor Department. It means a lot.”…
“It’s almost unprecedented in American history,” said Erik Loomis, a labor historian at the University of Rhode Island. “We have the sense that previous presidents in the mid-20th century were overtly pro-union, but that really wasn’t the case. Even FDR never really came out and told workers directly to support a union.”
Loomis said the video was a sign of the ways the Democratic Party has moved to the left on issues of economic justice in the past decade…
Biden has taken a number of other steps that have pleased labor advocates and liberals on issues around worker power in his first few weeks in office.
He fired Peter Robb, a Trump appointee at the National Labor Relations Board, the agency that oversees union elections, who was seen as a major antagonist of union campaigns, within a day of taking office in January. His incoming labor secretary, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, has a strong union background, having risen to prominence in the city through a local union chapter. Other high-profile appointees such as Jennifer Abruzzo, Biden’s pick to replace Robb, have also come from the world of organized labor…
And the Vice-President:
Putting in the work. Ready to take on the week ahead. pic.twitter.com/xKoVZ3Sfbe
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) February 28, 2021
Also, even though I haven’t always met these standards, I LOL’d:
— ??????TraitorWarrior?????? (@Traitor_Warrior) February 28, 2021