President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to run the Department of Labor (DOL). As the first union member set to lead DOL in nearly 50 years, Walsh is the latest confirmation that the Biden administration will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of union bosses and Big Labor.
Throughout his campaign, Biden pledged to deliver for Big Labor’s anti-freelancer and anti-worker freedom priorities. On the day before the presidential election, Biden promised a group of union workers in Pennsylvania that he’d be the “most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.”
Biden’s pick has been praised by AFL-CIO union boss Richard Trumka, who said that Walsh “…will be an exceptional labor secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools. As a longtime union member, Walsh knows that collective bargaining is essential…”
Biden has even promised to bring Trumka with him in the Oval Office, saying “if I’m in the Oval Office, guess who’s going to be there with me? Unions, labor, you. Rich, the bad news for you is there’s no getting away from me…because I’ll be coming for you.”
Installing one of Trumka’s top allies at DOL to execute Big Labor’s agenda would be the perfect way to achieve Biden’s promise.
Biden has repeatedly endorsed the job-killing PRO Act, which would ban Right to Work Laws that protect 166 million workers in 27 states, more than half the U.S. population. Right to Work laws allow workers the freedom of employment without forced membership in a union or forced payment to a union boss.
Biden has explicitly called for the end of Right to Work, saying: “We should change the federal law [so] that there is no Right to Work allowed anywhere in the country. For real. Not a joke. Not a joke.”
Biden’s real motivation for invalidating Right to Work laws is simple enough – Big Labor is one of Biden’s biggest backers, and unions have collectively spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get Biden elected. Forcing American workers to pay union dues that almost uniformly support Democrat candidates, whether they want to or not, is a clear return on that investment.
The PRO Act would also dismantle the gig economy by implementing California’s “ABC” test to determine whether or not a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The ABC test, codified under California’s disastrous AB5 law, makes it harder for employers to hire independent contractors but easier for unions to unionize workers.
Thanks to AB5, countless freelancers and independent contractors have fled California to participate in the gig economy in other states.
ATR has collected 655 testimonials from Californians that detail how AB5 has pummeled freelancers and independent contractors. For example:
“I lost the career and relationship I was building with a content writing company.” [Link]
“AB5 is why I had to pack my very ill husband with stage 4 cancer and autistic son and leave the state. There is no way I can take care of our family and work a ‘traditional’ type job.” [Link]
“I’m a certified court interpreter. I’ve been very happily freelancing for 15 years. I can choose which agencies to work with, and work as much or as little as I want to spend time with my 3-year-old. AB5 is destroying my wonderful work/life combo.” [Link]
If the PRO Act is implemented, expect these sad stories to come from all fifty states.
While Walsh may not yet be a household name, the radical agenda he and Biden supports has been crushing worker freedom and independent contractors for years. If Walsh is confirmed, workers will be once again forced to join unions and pay union dues whether they want to or not, and freelancers all across the country will see their livelihoods destroyed with the stroke of a pen.
The Senate should reject Walsh’s nomination.