WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh met with union organizers on the White House on Thursday because the administration appears to be like to spice up unionization campaigns.
Participants within the assembly, which featured an unscheduled look by President Joe Biden, mentioned organizers’ efforts to kind unions of their workplaces, and the way these might immediate employees across the nation to mount comparable group campaigns, in keeping with a readout from the White House. Biden thanked them for bolstering organizing momentum that’s rising nationally.
Among the visitors have been Chris Smalls, who heads the Amazon Labor Union that received a vote final month to unionize warehouse employees on Staten Island, New York. Addressing a union convention in Washington final month, Biden quipped, “By the way, Amazon here we come,” drawing loud cheers, although he didn’t elaborate.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated after the assembly that Biden’s participation was about selling labor organizing throughout the nation, not at Amazon particularly.
“The president has long been a supporter of the rights of workers to organize, the rights of collective bargaining and he dropped by this meeting to simply offer his support for those efforts,” Psaki stated. “But he is not engaging — we don’t engage or get directly involved in labor disputes, obviously, but he certainly supports the rights of workers.”
Other organizers attending Thursday’s assembly included these working to unionize Starbucks, open air retailer REI and the animation studio Titmouse.
Before the assembly, Smalls testified at a Senate Budget committee listening to on Amazon’s federal contracts. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who chairs the committee, has been urgent the White House to chop off the corporate’s contracts with the federal government till the retailer stops what Sanders has referred to as its “illegal anti-union activity.”
In a submitting launched in March, the corporate disclosed it spent about $4.2 million final yr on labor consultants, who organizers say Amazon employed to steer employees to not unionize. Organizers imagine slicing off Amazon’s federal contracts would fulfill the president’s marketing campaign promise to make sure such offers solely go to firms that signal agreements “committing not to run anti-union campaigns.”
Seattle-based Amazon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Sanders’ workplace stated Amazon founder Jeff Bezos declined to come back to the listening to.
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