A MESSAGE FROM VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN to LiUNA MEMBERS
Senator Harris and I are proud and grateful for your endorsement––a vote of confidence that we humbly embrace as we strive to rebuild a more inclusive economy and strengthen worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions in America. As our country mourns more than 200,000 lives lost to COVID-19 and we continue to deal with the threat posed by the virus, I pray that you and your loved ones remain safe and in good health.
Throughout our history, America has confronted big challenges, turning them into opportunities by mobilizing American talent and ingenuity. Hard-fought movements, rooted in our shared values, with labor unions at the helm, have secured critical worker protections and a path to the middle class for millions of American families. We owe it to you to ensure that you receive the benefits and protections you need––not just because labor is critical to my plan to grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class, but because we have a moral obligation to ensure you are treated fairly and with dignity.
We must confront the urgent challenges facing us today with the same talent, ingenuity, and spirit that built the middle class in the first place. That’s why as President, I will summon a new wave of worker power to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, repair and modernize roads, bridges, schools, energy and water systems. I’ll guarantee Davis-Bacon prevailing wage and benefit requirements, so that workers can earn familysustaining wages––just like I did when I implemented the Recovery Act. A Biden-Harris Administration will prioritize Project Labor and Community Workforce Agreements to ensure projects use local workers and that collective bargaining agreements are in place before a project starts. We’ll also ensure that projects employ workers trained in registered apprenticeship programs like the ones the Building Trades unions have pioneered for decades––and we won’t water them down like the Trump Administration tried to do. And critically, I’ll not only end the Trump Administration’s war on labor, but I’ll include in the economic recovery legislation I send to Congress a series of policies to encourage union organizing and collective bargaining, including the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, card check, a broad definition of “employee,” and tough enforcement to end the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. I will also go further than the PRO Act by holding company executives personally liable when they interfere with organizing efforts.
President Trump threatened to veto the PRO Act because he doesn’t understand that to build back better, we must empower workers and their unions. President Trump fails to grasp the fundamental idea of America, which gives hope to those facing desperate odds here at home and around the world, that no matter where you start in life, there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you work at it. It’s how we’ve beaten the odds and created the greatest economic engine the world has ever seen. But the ongoing assault on the rights of workers and the dignity of immigrants cripples our ability to compete in the global economy. Immigrants are essential to the strength of our country, and a modern immigration system must allow our economy to grow while protecting the rights, wages, and working conditions of all workers, and hold employers accountable if they don’t play by the rules. We must ensure that every worker is protected, can join a union, and can exercise their labor rights–––for the safety of all workers. And, we must reform the current system of temporary work visas to enhance worker protections.
The United States of America was built on skilled labor and unions like LIUNA fighting for your pay, your safety, and your dignity. Make no mistake, a Biden-Harris Administration will have labor unions at the table to ensure that you are protected, treated, and compensated fairly. We’ll provide frontline workers like mail handlers, who play a crucial role in the delivery of essential items like medicine, medical supplies, and food, with the necessary funds to safely continue operations––not disrupt or privatize this essential lifeline for millions of American families. And because future generations will benefit from the investments we make today, our administration will fight for workers’ retirement security by working with Congress to stabilize the multiemployer pension system and work with labor to pursue structural multiemployer pension reform. Workers need retirement security, and they deserve to have the promises their employers made to them about their pensions fulfilled.
There is a lot of work left to be done, but I am clear-eyed about what it will take to rebuild an economy that works for everyone. It means a lot to have earned your support, and I look forward to winning this fight with you by my side.