Manage episode 282718995 series 2821477
Leslie is joined by Roy Houseman, Legislative Director for the United Steelworkers. The two discuss President-Elect Biden's pro-worker agenda.
Here are more details on the specific items that they touched on during their conversation.
Joe Biden’s campaign centered on calls for pro-worker legislation that would strengthen organizing rights and increase unionization rates in workplaces. Now that the American people have voted into office a candidate who ran on the strongest pro-worker stance in decades, Biden’s administration has the opportunity to advance the interests of working people through several legislative and policy initiatives:
- For short-term relief, Biden has indicated he will immediately pass relief aid for workers in the form of direct payments to curb the economic depression felt by the working class during the COVID-19 pandemic. - He’s also called for legislation that increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would increase pay for tens of millions of workers. The minimum wage was last raised in 2009.
Biden’s administration must also support workers in the longer term. He could do this by passing a number of pro-worker policies championed by the USW and the labor movement, for example:
- Increasing retirement and healthcare security by: - Strengthening the social security trust fund - Lowering drug costs - Replenishing the Medicare trust fund - Protecting the pension funds of millions of working Americans
Passing legislation that will protect fundamental rights for working people, including:
- The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the most comprehensive pro-labor law since the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which would give workers more bargaining power on the job
- Appointing National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) leadership with pro-worker agendas and track records, so the agency protects workers instead of corporate interests
Investing in America’s workers and the environment through: - Addressing America’s infrastructure crisis through investments to modernize both cities and rural areas - Increased attention toward clean technologies and efficient manufacturing processes - Using American labor to manufacture materials domestically for infrastructure projects - Purchasing American-made materials for construction projects
Hard-working Americans have spoken by electing a pro-labor candidate to office. It is now up to the labor movement and its allies to push for the swift passage of these and many other important policies that will protect current and future generations of the working class.