There seems to be some positive news on the labor front from President-elect Joe Biden.
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden hosted a joint meeting Monday with labor union leaders and the chief executives of major tech, retail and auto companies.
The business leaders at the virtual meeting were General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Microsoft president and CEO Satya Nadella, Target chairman and chief executive Brian Cornell, and Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap.
Biden said later that he told the CEOs, “I want you to know I’m a union guy,” adding “that’s not anti-business.”
“Unions are going to have increased power [in a Biden administration],” Biden said. In response, Biden said the CEOs just nodded.
Labor leaders present for the meeting were AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union; Rory Gamble, president of the United Auto Workers; Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
In Washington DC, they say personnel is policy so who will Biden pick for the Secretary of Labor?
This is from Politico:
Union leaders are hoping to influence Joe Biden's pick for Labor secretary — but they're increasingly at odds over who should get the job.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and some of his organization’s largest affiliate unions are singing the praises of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who previously led the city’s Building and Construction Trades Council and could appeal to construction workers who supported President Donald Trump. But other unions in the federation are publicly pushing Rep. Andy Levin, a Michigan Democrat who worked as a labor organizer and ran the state’s job training program before he was elected.
Those two names look much better than Eugene Scalia, who is President Trump's current Secretary of Labor. This is how the New Yorker described Scalia's handling of coronavirus:
As the coronavirus has overrun America, Scalia’s impulse has been to grant companies leeway rather than to demand strict enforcement of safety protocols.
On April 28th, Richard Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., sent Scalia a letter accusing the Department of Labor of forsaking its mission. Even as millions of workers were risking their health to perform jobs deemed essential, osha had done little more than issue a modest list of voluntary safety guidelines. Trumka demanded that Scalia impose emergency temporary standards that would require companies to follow specific rules to slow the spread of covid-19, such as providing employees with personal protective equipment and adhering to social-distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control.
Scalia’s response was polite but unyielding. “Correspondence such as yours can help us do our jobs better,” he began, but then insisted that Trumka’s complaints were riddled with “basic misunderstandings.” Imposing emergency temporary standards was unnecessary, Scalia wrote, because osha already had the authority to penalize irresponsible companies under the General Duty Clause, which requires employers to create an environment “free from recognized hazards.” This was the basis for osha’s actions against SeaWorld in 2010—notwithstanding the objections Scalia lodged at the time, which were so strenuous that Judge Rogers asked him at one point if he believed that “the agency, under the General Duty Clause, has no role to play.” The clause has played little role lately, Trumka told me. Since the pandemic began, osha has received more than ten thousand complaints alleging unsafe conditions related to the virus. It has issued just two citations under the General Duty Clause.
So why again is there no talk of a general strike in this country?