President Joe Biden’s administration is pitching a major new giveaway to unions as a way to assure “well-trained, well-prepared, highly-skilled workers” are working federal construction projects.
According to Just the News, the “Executive Order on Use of Project Labor Agreements For Federal Construction Projects,” signed Friday, commands agencies to “require every contractor or subcontractor engaged in construction on [a federal] project to agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more appropriate labor organizations” on contracts over $35 million.
The order claims to provide “mechanisms for labor-management cooperation on matters of mutual interest and concern, including productivity, quality of work, safety, and health.”
Project labor arrangements, the order stated, “provide structure and stability to large-scale construction projects. Such agreements avoid labor-related disruptions on projects by using dispute-resolution processes to resolve worksite disputes and by prohibiting work stoppages, including strikes and lockouts.”
Biden signed the order in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, according to WTOP Radio, in front of a group of union ironworkers.
The order, the president claimed, ensures “that major projects are handled by well-trained, well-prepared, highly-skilled workers.”
“I tell you who built America: the middle class. And the people who built the middle class are organized labor — unions, union. Unions did it,” Biden said in his remarks. “That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact. That’s a straight fact.
“And the executive order I’m going to sign today is going to help ensure that we build a better America, we build it right, and we build it on time, and we build it cheaper than it would have been otherwise.”
However, the president might have gotten closer to the point when he noted the symbiotic relationship between his administration and labor unions.
“You know, one of the press persons said to me — and I can’t remember who — about three months ago, that — I don’t know if it’s factual or not, but he said, “You’ve used the word ‘union’ as president more than any other president in American history,”‘” Biden said.
If he hasn’t, it isn’t because labor unions haven’t been good to him — or the Democrats.
According to OpenSecrets, organized labor spent $244.8 million on the 2020 election in various forms.
This included $70.7 million in direct contributions to Democratic candidates, but much more through super PACs and other outside spending.
In addition, unions were part of the push for Biden’s so-called “Build Back Better” spending plan in its various incarnations.
“The Service Employees International Union, which represents workers in hospitals, nursing homes and other industries, said it is running a $7 million advertising campaign to press key Democratic senators to drop their opposition to the $3.5 trillion package of social and economic programs,” The Wall Street Journal reported in October.
“The National Education Association said it is spending millions of dollars on its own advertising campaign, as well as paying workers to go door to door in key congressional districts to rally popular support for the bill. The American Federation of Teachers is funding rounds of phone calls into key Democratic districts to win support for a tax change sought by the union.”
Apparently, politics is a lot like life: You only get what you give.