Vice President Kamala Harris recently spoke at a roundtable event with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on measures to make it easier for unions to organize with workers representing government agencies. She talked about collective bargaining within the labor unions and boosting membership among federal workers.
The Zoom roundtable occurred as people continue to leave their jobs in record numbers. Nearly 4.3 million people left their jobs in August and there have been massive strikes around the country. So much for “building back better.”
There have been a handful of job strikes over the last month, including one of the first major walkouts from John Deere. More than 10,000 employees staged a walkout from the farm equipment company after learning that Deere CEO John May makes 220 times more than the median company salary of $70,743. Kellogg’s cereal company workers also went on strike over their wages, benefits, and work hours. They have failed to reach an agreement and are still on strike. Kaiser healthcare workers, Hollywood theatrical stage employees, workers at Nabisco plants, and dozens of other U.S workers have also gone on strike for various reasons. Vaccine mandates have also led to more strikes and protests, including one with Southwest Airlines employees.
VP Harris announced that they would be directing federal agencies to inform job applicants about the unions during the onboarding process. She said they would be “enhancing communications” about informing current employees of ways to engage and join the union, adding that they have many government workers who have not been informed. Only 20% of federal employees currently belong to a union.
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VP Harris emphasized how they were taking a “broader strategy” to make the federal government a model employee and for all employers to make similar moves in protecting their workers. But others have pointed out that it is nothing more than a “power grab” to crush worker freedom and empower labor bosses.
Nikki Haley, the former U.S ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor, criticized VP Harris and said they’ve always made sure that workers’ voices were heard and that liberal union middlemen can’t intimidate them.
Haley was even an outspoken critic of unions during her time as South Carolina governor, adding that the companies in her state “took care of their workers.” She touts SC as a “right-to-work” state, adding that workers are not required to join any labor unions as a condition of employment.
“We don’t need unions playing middlemen between our companies and our employees. We don’t want them forcefully inserted into our promising business climate. And we will not stand for them intimidating South Carolinians,” Haley wrote in a 2011 Wall Street Journal op-ed.
More union members just mean more union dues and political contributions to Democrats. It’s just another way to keep Democrats elected and to weaken the right to work.