USW members who work for Google contractor HCL met this afternoon with Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh to address the importance of promoting union organizing on a national scale.
The conversation took place following a larger meeting the two Biden administration officials held with representatives from the USW and seven other Pittsburgh-area unions at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall on the city’s South Side.
“Becoming a union member is a life-changing moment, and it’s good to see that this administration supports that,” said Amanda Parks, a USW member who works at HCL. “The surest way to promote good jobs and economic security for the working class is to grow union density across all sectors of the economy, from service jobs to blue collar jobs to white collar jobs and everywhere in between.”
About 80 tech workers at HCL, who work side-by-side with Google employees at the company’s Pittsburgh offices, voted in September 2019 to join the USW’s Federation of Tech Workers. The group is in the process of negotiating its first contract with the company.
This April, President Joe Biden signed an executive order establishing the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, which is intended to use a whole-of-government approach to encourage worker organizing and expand collective bargaining.
Vice President Harris chairs the task force, with Secretary Walsh serving as vice chair. Twenty-three other top administration officials also serve on the panel.
In addition, the administration is calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would remove unnecessary barriers to union organizing and increase punishments for employers who illegally attempt to block workers’ collective efforts. The U.S. House passed the bill in March with a bipartisan vote.
“Today’s meeting is an encouraging reminder that workers have allies in the White House and throughout this administration,” said HCL worker Wynne Lanros. “It’s heartening to know that we have leaders who do more than just talk about supporting working people. They actually back up that talk with action to support them and their voices.”
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)