With the Democrats signature piece of proposed labor legislation stalled in Congress, President Biden has created an advisory council to find ways of implementing some of the same pro-union ideas administratively through the federal bureaucracy..
Called the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, it is charged with analyzing ways of establishing government policies to encourage employees to organize and successfully obtain collective bargaining agreements with employers.
The task force is co-chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. Its final recommendations are scheduled to be submitted to President Biden on Oct. 23.
Task force members include the secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, the Interior, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and Treasury.
Also, members of this high-powered group include Kathleen McGettigan, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, and Susan Rice, assistant to the President for domestic policy and director of the Domestic Policy Council.
Employers should anticipate that the Biden administration will leverage federal purchasing to send to unionized employers and other organizations that promote employee rights, suggests attorney Dennis G. Collins of the law firm of Greensfelder Hemker & Gale.
“While the Biden administration and labor leaders will push hard for favorable legislation, we can expect there will be litigation by employer organizations on extreme mandates that endeavor to force the use of unionized federal contractors.”
Collins believes that employers will turn to well-established federal law holding that the federal government should serve as an honest arbiter between labor and management, not an advocate for unions, or to force workers to join unions whether they wish to or not.