For union members, the ‘state of the union’ is strong

For union members, the ‘state of the union’ is strong

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler

Last week, in a virtual event called “The State of the Union for Union members,” Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler detailed President Joe Biden’s strong track record supporting working families and union members since taking office.

“President Biden will go down as the most pro-union president in our history,” said Shuler. “For once, we have a president who’s not afraid to use the ‘u’ word – ‘union.’ It’s hard to keep up with all the pro-worker regulations he’s done.”

Among Pres. Biden’s boldest pro-worker measures?

The American Rescue Plan, which AFSCME President Lee Saunders called, in a recent op-ed in Fortune Magazine, a “lifeline for millions of public service workers.”

The American Rescue Plan, which AFSCME members helped make happen, provided $350 billion to states, cities, counties and towns to repair the fiscal devastation caused by the pandemic. It also provided child tax credits to families, stabilized pensions and provided funding to keep front-line workers safe on the job.

Pres. Biden also established a White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary Walsh, which has issued a report with several recommendations to encourage organizing and collective bargaining. 

He’s also appointed officials committed to addressing the needs of working people to key positions across government.


Labor Secretary Marty Walsh

Shuler added that with a wave of worker actions across the country, “We have unlimited potential to seize this moment to build an economy with workers at the center.”

Secretary Walsh said, “[President Biden’s] presidency is about giving everyone a fair shot.”

In the past year, said Walsh, Pres. Biden has lowered the cost of child care and prescription drugs, while reducing the deficit. He also plans to “buy and build American. He wants to create products here in America that are sold here.”

Walsh and Shuler also fielded questions from workers. One of them was: “How can we support President Biden’s agenda in the coming year?”

Both Walsh and Shuler said communication and unity will be crucial to advancing Pres. Biden’s pro-worker agenda and empowering workers.

Walsh said people should be “talking at soccer fields, hockey games, community meetings. Have a dialogue. Talk about what this administration has done for America.”