Joe Biden wants to be the most pro-union president in decades. Union leaders say the bar is low

Some organised labour leaders believe the Biden presidency is an opportunity for ‘big, bold change’, writes John Bowden

Saturday 11 September 2021 05:18
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<p>President Joe Biden speaks with union workers as he visits the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) Local 313 in Newcastle, Delaware on September 6, 2021</p>

President Joe Biden speaks with union workers as he visits the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) Local 313 in Newcastle, Delaware on September 6, 2021

President Joe Biden shared the White House stage with the newly-elected president of America’s largest labour federation this week, and vowed to be the “most pro-union President leading the most pro-union administration in American history”.

“In my White House, you’ll always be welcome. You’ll always be welcome. Labour will always be welcome,” declared the president.

The quote, which was largely drowned out by the week’s news cycle including the White House announcement a day later of a national vaccine and testing mandate to affect millions of Americans, nevertheless signalled a policy shift at the executive level that even if not backed up by legislation could have significant effects on US workplaces.

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