After nearly five years without a confirmed leader, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is headed by worker safety advocate Doug Parker. “Finally after 1,747 days, @OSHA has a champion for workers right as its director,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Doug Parker will advocate for safe working conditions for all and hold employers who violate workers’ right accountable.” Parker, who headed California’s division of occupational safety and health for the past two years, is likely to increase the agency’s inspectors and enforce its anti-retaliation rule. One-time staff...
Continuing a trend of filling labor-related posts with experienced pro-worker nominees, President Biden has selected Susan Tsui Grundmann and Kurt Rumsfeld for seats on the Federal Labor Relations Authority. “Federal workers can breathe a little easier now that President Biden has not only filled these vacancies, but has done so with experienced individuals who understand the importance of the work that our federal workforce does,” said Government Employees Director Paul O'Connor. The FLRA oversees disputes between federal agencies and their employee unions. If confirmed by the Senate,...
Historic and transformational change for America’s infrastructure and jobs is the order of the day on Capitol Hill as negotiators seek to construct legislation containing President Biden’s bold plan for America.At issue are plans to build the charging infrastructure necessary for widescale adoption of electric vehicles, buses, trains and trucks and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in roads, transit, the electrical grid, passenger and freight rail, broadband and water infrastructure. After President Biden helped negotiate it, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the...
It was almost déjà vu when Denver Local 68 journeyman wireman Julian Aguilar met President Biden at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on September 14 outside Denver. “I know I just now met Joe Biden for the first time in my life, but I feel like he’s had my back for years,” said Aguilar, a second-generation member of Local 68. “President Joe Biden is not just pro-union. He’s pro-people. He’s pro-America.” Biden saluted IBEW electricians as “the best in the world,” as he thanked Aguilar and discussed the urgency of renewable energy. “Whether you’re an engineer at a lab bench, an IBEW...
President Biden signed an executive order targeting 2030 as the year that half of all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 will be electric. He was joined by auto company executives in the August 5 White House announcement, when he emphasized the transformative infrastructure potential of his Build Back Better plan. “We’re going to put Americans to work modernizing our roads, our highways, our ports, our airports, rail and transit systems,” Biden said at the event. “That includes putting IBEW members and other union workers to work installing a national network of 500,000 charging...
A high-level committee headed by Vice President Kamala Harris continues its investigation into leveraging the federal government’s power to promote unions and collective bargaining. An October meeting included Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The group is at work on a report expected to be completed in late October. “This unprecedented task force –...
IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson wrote in an op-ed that the Biden administration’s climate goals will be met only by expanding nuclear energy production. With co-author Steven Nesbit of the American Nuclear Society, Stephenson said provisions in the infrastructure bill being debated in Congress that would prevent permanent closures of existing nuclear power plants are a welcome first step. Through measures like production tax credits, President Biden can safeguard America’s largest carbon-free energy source by recognizing the clean air contributions of nuclear energy: By building new...
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh participated in a roundtable on October 13 at Atlanta Local 613 that focused on low wages and other workplace issues harmful to workers. At the event, Rep. Nikema Williams said workers lose $15 billion annually to wage theft, and highlighted the U.S. Department of Labor's work to prevent it.“I'm glad to work with you and the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division in enforcing the Standard Act so Georgia workers get the pay they are due,” Williams said to Secretary Walsh.
President Biden is harnessing the purchasing power of the federal government to promote and encourage domestic manufacturing. First with an executive order in the first days of his presidency, then through the creation of a Made In America in America office, now the government is issuing guidance to maximize the use of taxpayer dollars to create good-paying union jobs. The federal government spends $60 billion annually to purchase products and services, making it the largest buyer of consumer goods in the world. To strengthen supply chains and shape markets to increase innovation, the new...
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh visited Las Vegas on Aug. 9 for a roundtable on employment opportunities for young people. First-year wireman apprentice Quintin Gonzalez said he values the opportunity to learn the skills for a well-paying career without the cost of a four-year college degree. At the event also attended by U.S. Reps. Steven Horsford and Susie Lee, Las Vegas Local 357 Business Manager James Halsey encouraged Walsh to consider mandating the use of registered apprentices on all Davis-Bacon projects to increase apprenticeship opportunities.