WASHINGTON (PAI)—Saying the National Labor Relations Act’s 86-year-old mandate to have the government encourage worker organizing “has never been fully enforced,” Democratic President Joe Biden created an interagency task force on worker organizing and empowerment and told it to report practical measures to him within 180 days.
And on April 27, the day after he created the task force, the pro-worker president put the government’s money where his mouth is, so to speak: He issued an executive order declaring that employees of federal contractors must be paid at least $15 an hour, by next March if they’re regular workers and by the end of 2024 if they’re tipped workers, such as servers in fast-food restaurants on military bases.
That move will help between 390,000 and two million workers, although not all will get the 37% hike—over the current $10.95 minimum for federal contractors’ workers—in March. That’s because it’ll take effect as new contracts are signed. Biden’s unionization task force is to come up with ways to help millions more.
“The mission of the task force will be to mobilize the federal government’s policies, programs, and practices to empower workers to organize and successfully bargain with their employers,” Biden’s executive order says.