Posts Tagged ‘executive order’

Biden order creates task force to increase unionism

President Joe Biden on April 26 signed an executive order that created a Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment to increase union density and union organizing in the country.

The group will be led by Vice President Kamala Harris and DOL Secretary Marty Walsh and have more than 20 members of Biden’s Cabinet and heads of agencies involved, according to a fact sheet released by the White House.

“American workers have faced increasing barriers to organizing and bargaining collectively with their employers. Economic change in the United States and globally, technological developments, and the failure to modernize federal organizing and labor-management relations laws so they respond appropriately to the reality found in American workplaces have made worker organizing exceedingly difficult. The result has been a steady decline in union membership in the United States over past decades,” a White House fact sheet on the creation of the task force stated. “Since 1935, when the National Labor Relations Act was enacted, the policy of the federal government has been to encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining, not to merely allow or tolerate them. In the 86 years since the Act was passed, the federal government has never fully implemented this policy.”

The task force intends to, within 180 days, recommend ways that current policies, programs and practices can be used to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining in the federal government and identify where new policies, regulatory and statutory changes are needed to achieve the task force’s mission.

The goals set forth for the task force are:

  1. Lead by example by ensuring that the federal government is a model employer with respect to encouraging worker organizing and collective bargaining among its workforce.
  2. Facilitate worker organizing across the country by taking an all-of-government approach to mobilize the federal government’s policies, programs and practices to provide workers the opportunity to organize and bargain collectively.
  3. Increase worker power in underserved communities by examining and seeking to address the particular challenges to worker organizing in jurisdictions with restrictive labor laws; the added challenges that marginalized workers in many communities encounter, including women and people of color; and the heightened barriers to organizing workers in certain industries.
  4. Increase union membership across the United States to grow a more inclusive middle class and provide workers the opportunity to come together for the purpose of mutual advancement, the dignity of worker and workers, respect and the fair compensation they deserve.

Read an article on the task force by Business Insider.

Read a fact sheet on the task force.

DOT ordered to make rule allowing natural gas transport by rail

An executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Wednesday, April 10, tasks the Federal Department of Transportation with creating a new rule in a little more than three months’ time that permits super-cooled liquid natural gas (LNG) to be transported by rail.

“The Secretary of Transportation shall propose for notice and comment a rule, no later than 100 days after the date of this order, that would treat LNG the same as other cryogenic liquids and permit LNG to be transported in approved rail tank cars,” the order states. “The Secretary shall finalize such rulemaking no later than 13 months after the date of this order.”

Natural gas trade and rail carrier groups have lobbied for years for the ability to supply LNG to the northeastern U.S. via rail. Current Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) safety rules do not allow the transport of LNG in rail tanker cars.

It is transported by truck and pipelines with one exception — Alaska Railroad was given a special authorization in 2015 to transport LNG by rail in portable containers transported on flatcars, Bloomberg News reports.

Read a Bloomberg News article on the order.

Read the executive order.

Executive order encourages ‘buy American’ for infrastructure

President Donald Trump today (Jan. 31) signed an executive order, “Strengthening Buy American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects,” encouraging the use of U.S.-made materials when undertaking infrastructure projects that get federal funding.

The goal is to boost the purchase of domestic products, such as aluminum, steel, iron and concrete in federally funded projects to repair and improve sewers, roads and other vital parts of the country’s network.

The president’s order falls short of a mandate and does not set required levels to be purchased or create an enforcement mechanism.

A previous executive order, signed April 17, 2017, took a similar route, and this order signed Jan. 31 is intended to fill “gaps,” according to a presidential economic adviser.

Read more on The Hill website.