A White House task force that aims to improve conditions for workers has announced two new policies affecting those employed by the federal government.
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President Biden created the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment with an executive order in April, and today, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that federal workers will be informed when they are hired that they are eligible to join a union.
“They will be given contact information and they will be informed of their rights,” Harris said. “We’d like to believe that this happens every time, but we know it doesn’t.”
“If folks don’t know their rights, if they’re not informed of their rights, how can they fight to protect their rights?” Harris asked.
She was joined in the task force meeting by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
Federal workers will also be reminded of their right to join a union during their employment.
“We have folks who have been working in the federal government for years who during the course of that time may not have been informed, and we want to make sure that they know now if they didn’t know before,” she said.
According to the White House, workers who are unionized earn roughly 13% more than non-union workers on a similar job site. They also experience drastically lower rates of labor standards violations, like employers wage theft or workplace safety and health hazards.
“All of this is just part of our broader strategy to make the federal government a model employer,” Harris said.