Kelly: What the Labor Movement Wants from a Joe Biden Administration

Labor News

Reprinted from Teen Vogue by

“When Joe Biden was finally declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, many in the labor movement breathed a sigh of relief (some, like myself, a bit less enthusiastically than others),” writes Kim Kelly in Teen Vogue. “Biden won in no small part due to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of union members, particularly those in UNITE HERE98% of whom lost their hospitality and service industry jobs thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but threw themselves into massive get-out-the-vote mobilizations in swing states like Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, and Arizona — all of which ultimately went blue. Those workers keenly understood how Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and its assorted powerful backers have inflicted untold pain and suffering on the working class with their rabidly anti-worker agenda. Four more years of Trump would have weakened a labor movement that’s already been left gasping for air — often literally, in the case of the many thousands of workers who contracted COVID-19 on the job due to the federal government’s shambolic, craven response to the pandemic.

“Having a Democrat occupying the hot seat is much better for US workers than the alternative, but let’s be clear: a wet dishrag would still be better than what we ended up with last time, and Biden’s party affiliation means little in the grand scheme of things. What matters is action, vision, and gumption, three things that corporate Democrats like ole Joe and his closest allies lack in spades. …

Teen Vogue 12/22

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at