July 22, 2021
Assessing the White House Task Force on Unionization
President Biden created the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment to support workers through increasing the rate of unionization. While unions play an important role in the economy, they also come with substantial downsides, argues AAF’s Director of Labor Market Policy Isabel Soto. The Biden Administration should instead look to policies that can aid workers without the economic drawbacks associated with unions.
Increasing union power comes with significant tradeoffs and may work contrary to worker interests. Improving wage growth, access to the labor market, and protecting worker choice and flexibility can be accomplished through different measures that are not simply pro-union but focus directly on workers. Portable benefits would allow independent workers to retain their flexibility and have access to additional benefits. Increased training would enable workers to move into rapidly growing industries and access higher wages. Last, occupational licensing reform would remove crucial barriers to entry. Taken together, focusing on these policies has the potential to directly help workers and allow them greater freedom and mobility in the labor force.