April 30 marked the end of the first 100 days of the Biden administration. The phrase “first 100 days” was coined by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933, in a radio address in which he assessed his administration’s first actions to tackle the Great Depression and establish the New Deal. The purpose of this report card is not to congratulate or condemn the president, but to celebrate those areas in which aggressive struggle by the working class has won victories and highlight the areas in which we must redouble our efforts.
UE Political Action Updates
This morning, long-time UE ally Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the College for All Act, a bill which will implement the UE demand that Congress “pass laws implementing free public higher education and student loan forgiveness for all.” The legislation drew praise from UE members who work in higher education.
Not simply content to use their massive wealth to influence elections and lobby Congress, the country’s largest employers have joined together to block legislation ensuring working people’s right to vote.
As a rank-and-file union proud of our democratic traditions, UE condemns the voter suppression bill passed in Georgia last month, as well as the hundreds of similar bills being pushed in state legislatures across the country, overwhelmingly by Republican politicians.
The Medicare for All Act of 2021, H.R. 1976, was introduced into Congress on March 17 by Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell. The bill was co-sponsored by more than half of the House Democratic Caucus, including 14 committee chairs and key members of the Congressional leadership. Moving this important piece of legislation will require constant pressure from working people. Read this action alert for ways to take action.
President Biden grabbed headlines on his first day in office by first asking for the resignation of, then firing, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Peter Robb. Biden has also reversed Trump executive orders which curtailed the rights of federal workers and their unions, and has suspended the implementation of a rule issued by the Department of Labor on January 7 which would have made it easier for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees.
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a bill to restore workers’ right to organize unions and bargain collectively, was re-introduced into Congress yesterday by Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and a group of other Democratic congresspeople and senators. Call your representatives and senators today at (202) 224-3121 and demand that they co-sponsor this important piece of legislation!
Our nation is at a crossroads. Forty years of continued assault on working-class living standards have eroded working people’s faith in government. Corporations have attacked wages and benefits, destroyed good jobs, busted unions, and devastated whole communities through plant closings. Meanwhile, politicians of both parties have pursued privatization and deregulation, doing their best to turn government from an instrument for the public good into an opportunity for private gain — for themselves and their wealthy friends.
The Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over the next four years, was re-introduced into Congress today. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 has not been increased since 2009 — the longest period without a raise since the minimum wage was established by the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938.
UE unequivocally condemns the violent attempts by a group of supporters of President Trump to disrupt the certification of the electoral college results in Washington, DC yesterday. This was an attempt by a small group of extremists to overturn a democratic election in which record numbers of U.S. citizens participated. This assault on democracy also threatened the safety of thousands of public employees who work in the capitol.