Reflection on the 2020 Election 

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

A profound and very welcome change in our country’s politics gives us a chance to pass policies that will transform the workplace by raising wages for workers, encouraging diversity and restoring union protections eliminated over the past four years. 

President Joe Biden has a long history of strong support for fundamental labor standards, and with the leadership of a new, labor-friendly Secretary of Labor, promises a vision for an American economy that recognizes the contributions of union construction labor. Insulators Local 6 are also pleased with the Administration’s support for mechanical insulation tax incentives, building code reforms and energy efficiency investments that will promote our work.

46th President of the United States Joe Biden

Like most other unions, our membership voted to endorse President Joe Biden, who is considered by many to be the most labor-friendly president the U.S. has ever had. He is vocal in his belief that unions built the middle class, and has wasted no time since taking office to enact policies that will strengthen this nation’s working class. 

In the weeks since he took office, Biden already issued an executive order to reverse restrictions that Trump placed on federal agencies (such as the NLRB and OSHA) to weaken their regulatory power. He also removed the highly anti-worker NLRB general counsel Peter Robb from his post, where he has inflicted serious damage on the rights of workers for years. It is a relief and an exciting indication of the four years ahead for Labor that Biden prioritized these critical corrections. 

Biden has also issued a series of orders to support his robust plan to combat COVID-19, including one specifically designed to promote workplace safety. He has committed to strengthen the PPE supply chain, expand access to treatment, and work with schools and officials to reopen elementary and secondary schools, as well as our entire economy. 

Democrats Take Control of the U.S. Senate

Biden’s pro-worker, pro-union agenda will have an easier time in Congress following Democratic victories in both Georgia Senate runoff elections. Despite being underdogs, both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won their races against incumbents, giving Democrats control of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House. Both incoming senators have strong labor ties. 

With control over both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the executive branch, Democrats have an opportunity to pass legislation that will have a profound impact on the workplace. Local 6 can look forward to:

  • COVID-19 Relief:  Biden has outlined a proposal for trillions of dollars in government spending to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy, with an initial focus on large-scale expansions of the nation’s vaccination program and virus testing capacity. His plan will extend unemployment benefits, support small businesses and increase the minimum wage to $15/hr. 
  • Infrastructure: Biden has proposed spending up to $1.3 trillion in spending for an expansive slate of new programs aimed at making “far-reaching investments” across multiple sectors of the economy. The plan would create good work for our members and families nationwide for years to come.
  • Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO-Act): Biden supports the PRO Act, which would amend decades-old, anti-labor laws by expanding workers’ collective bargaining rights and adding penalties for companies that retaliate against employees for forming unions.
  • OSHA and NLRB: The Trump Administration has gone out of its way to undermine the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Labor Relations Board, two agencies that unions fought hard to establish, and ones that are critical to our livelihoods. Biden has promised to strengthen these two agencies and hold bad player employers accountable.  
  • Department of Labor Reform: Biden has appointed a strong Union supporter in Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, to lead as the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Labor, guaranteeing that the new administration will be as effective as possible in reversing the anti-union, anti-worker agenda of the former administration. 

U.S. Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh

Biden, who won the endorsement of almost every major union in the country, promised to make labor reform a fundamental part of his program. Local 6 could not have been happier, nor more hopeful to learn that Biden selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh – a longtime Labor ally – as U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Walsh has spent his entire life fighting for working families, and an economy that rewards hard-work instead of wealth. From his early days as a member of the Laborers’ Union, to his leadership of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, to the Massachusetts State House and the mayor’s office, Marty understands that good jobs, collective bargaining rights, and safe and dignified workplaces are integral to a strong middle class. He has unique experience and perspective on labor issues and will give unions a strong ally in the White House. 

The results of these critical elections and Walsh’s appointment to U.S. Labor Secretary signal a significant and positive trajectory for our organization and our families over the next four years. We look forward to seeing a government that can work together to actually get things done. Insulators will be advocating for our members each step of the way, and holdings these leaders accountable. 

Fraternally, 

James Lister

Business Manager / Financial Secretary