News From EPT Report • By Margaret Poydock, Ihna Mangundayao, Adewale A. Maye, Celine McNicholas, and Andrea Sanchez-Tercero • Posted: September 2, 2022
A new EPI report lays out the major actions Biden and Democrats have taken to protect and support workers in the first 18 months of the Biden administration—including passing a major fiscal stimulus package to address the COVID-19 pandemic and appointing pro-worker leaders to key federal positions.
At the beginning of President Biden’s term, of the 22 million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic recession, 60% had yet to be restored and the recovery had stalled. President Biden took office faced with the enormous task of restarting the recovery and halting, reversing, and withdrawing Trump’s pro-corporate, anti-worker agenda.
In the last year and a half, Biden has:
- Passed comprehensive fiscal stimulus to address the coronavirus pandemic
- Passed critical and historic infrastructure and climate investments
- Raised the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15/hour
- Restored NLRB’s purpose of protecting workers and advancing collective bargaining rights
- Nominated pro-worker, pro–racial economic justice individuals to key positions
- Nominated a Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, with a history of protecting workers’ rights
- Withdrew Trump-era executive orders and rules that would have curtailed efforts to combat federal workplace discrimination and undermined federal workers’ rights to unionize
“These actions are incredibly important for workers, but they are just a start. The freedom to form a union, and a strong national wage floor, are foundational and are two of the most powerful tools Congress can grant workers to advance their rights. Not until these measures are in place can we begin to make real progress toward reducing racial and gender wage gaps and addressing economic inequality overall,” said Margaret Poydock, Policy Analyst and Government Affairs Specialist at EPI.