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Payback parade

The following is an excerpt from our Saturday email, which includes our musings on the latest developments impacting public employees, links to that week’s labor news, and a collection of whimsical reads for your weekend. If you’d like to receive our weekly email, you can use the sign-up form at the bottom of this page. We promise to respect your inbox, and we will never share your email address.


You’d think after two years of cancelled plans and staying home, Labor Day celebrations for 2022 would have packed a bigger punch. Instead, we saw a president in full-on payback mode.
 
These paybacks to Big Labor include creating more unionized federal jobs, mandating union agreements, as well as Biden’s unwavering support of the PRO Act – a bill sitting atop every union boss’ wish list right now because it would deliver more power, members, and money to labor unions.
 
Biden’s administration has also injected what can only be called propaganda into the websites of federal agencies. Check out the Department of Energy’s homepage, which cites “Creating millions of clean energy union jobs” as a top priority for the agency. (May I remind you the mission of that agency is “to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”)
 
For much of Biden’s political career, he has supported Big Labor. “I make no apologies. I am a union man. Period,” he said in at a campaign rally in 2019.
 
And yet as this genius headline from Bloomberg suggests, despite Biden’s deep love for labor unions, unionized blue-collar workers don’t appear to love him back. Maybe that’s because Big Labor has left the blue-collar worker behind in a chase after elite workers. Today, public-sector unions have more members than private-sector unions. And recent listings of union petition filings with the NLRB read like a who’s who of the art worldIvy League journalists, and edgy cannabis entrepreneurs.
 
Another reason blue-collar workers could be turning away from politicians like Biden is the fact that his policy solutions reveal he isn’t listening to the American worker. That’s likely because a union run by bureaucrats in DC is granted an audience with the President long before any worker. And because today’s national unions aren’t competitive, there is very little workers in a unionized workplace can do to advocate for themselves. The only option that appears to be left for these workers is to let their voice be heard in the voting booth later this year.

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Elisabeth Messenger

Elisabeth Messenger is National Executive Director of Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector workers offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2020, Elisabeth was in the publicity department at Atlantic Records in Los Angeles, CA. From there, she learned how to build organizations that would impact culture through positions in operations and business development at Universal Music Group, VEVO, and Beats Music.

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