A White House Task Force issued a new report outlining nearly 70 recommendations for promoting worker organizing and collective bargaining for both federal and private-sector employees.
President Joe Biden Biden established the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment in April 2021 via an executive order, appointing Vice President Kamala Harris to serve as its chair. With over 20 federal agencies, offices and organizations represented, the task force was charged with identifying policies, practices and programs within the executive branch that could be used to support worker organization and collective bargaining.
The Office of Personnel Management is taking the lead on several of the recommendation from the report.
“OPM is pleased to be leading the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to promote worker empowerment within the federal workforce,” said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja in a statement. “As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government can and should lead by example in encouraging worker organizing and collective bargaining.”
OPM has taken several actions over the last year that it claims have helped reset labor-management relations in the executive branch, such as encouraging agencies to establish labor-management forums and engaging with labor unions before making decisions that impact members. And in October, the office issued additional guidance informing agencies on what actions they can take with regards to employees joining a union and how they should engage with a union.
Moving forward, OPM said it will implement additional strategies laid out in the task force’s report, including:
- Increasing unions’ access and ability to communicate with employees;
- Streamlining the process to become a dues-paying member by improving dues processing and forms; and
- Developing guidance and labor relations materials for agencies to use in training for managers and supervisors regarding unfair labor practices and neutrality in union organizing campaigns.
The Task Force will submit its second report in six months.
Nathan Strout was the staff editor at C4ISRNET, where he covered the intelligence community.