Readout of Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment Meeting with Grassroots Worker Organizers
Today, Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh held a roundtable discussion with a diverse group of young, grassroots worker organizers to discuss their extraordinary efforts to organize unions in their workplaces, and how their efforts can inspire workers across the country to make the choice to join or organize a union. The roundtable was led by the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, which the Vice President chairs with Secretary Walsh as vice-chair.
President Biden stopped by the discussion and thanked the worker organizers for their leadership in organizing unions, the inspiration they offer to workers across the country who may want to organize, and their contributions to the worker organizing momentum that is growing across the country.
Vice President Harris and Secretary Walsh listened to the worker organizers tell the stories of why they and their co-workers organized unions in their workplaces and how they did it. Among other things, the workers talked about fair pay, paid leave and health care benefits, their commitment to co-workers, and the desire for basic dignity and respect as important motivators for their organizing efforts. They also described some of the anti-union tactics deployed by some of the employers. The Vice President and Secretary Walsh reaffirmed that the Biden-Harris Administration is the most pro-union administration in history, and reiterated that worker power is at the core of this administration’s economic vision to rebuild the economy from the bottom up and middle out. As we experience an historically strong labor market recovery, Vice President Harris and Secretary Walsh underscored that all workers must benefit and get the dignity and respect they deserve in the workplace.
The attendees represented a wide range of industries with grassroots union organizing efforts, from warehousing to animation to retail. Attendees included Vice President Harris, Secretary Walsh, Christian Smalls, Amazon Labor Union, Laura Garza, Starbucks Workers United/Starbucks, Alex Speidel, United Paizo Workers/CWA, Rachel Gitlevich, Titmouse productions/IATSE, Jaimie Caldwell, Baltimore Public Library/IAM, and Damien Sowell, REI/UFCW-RWDSU.