The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Johanna Kichton, 240.206.1145, 

People's Action and 24 Member Groups Urge Biden Admin in New Letter to Transform DOL and Protect Workers

Groups Demand Biden Meet the Moment and Transform DOL’s Focus to Support and Build Worker Power in an Era Domineered by Corporate Control and Gig Economies


People's Action and 24 directors of its member groups today sent a letter to the Biden administration urging it to transform the Department of Labor (DOL) to support and build worker power and protection. In an era of renewed labor struggle where record numbers of people face unemployment, industries and supply chains are disrupted by COVID-19, and the economy is domineered by corporate monopolies and contract gigs that leave workers vulnerable, the Biden administration must advance the boldest possible agenda for working people.

"As President-Elect Biden considers his choice for Secretary of Labor, we need him to take seriously the work that is ahead to truly address the economic and racial inequities that have grown in our economy," People's Action and the member group directors wrote. "We need a Secretary of Labor ready to bring about structural reforms in concert with workers and movements. We need more than simply enforcement of laws on the books; we need labor law reform that will put more power in the hands of workers and, in turn, more money in their pockets."

After a round of fairly moderate appointments to cabinet positions, People's Action groups lift up the need for a bolder type of leader behind the DOL--a trusted progressive standard bearer who can both advance structural change and galvanize the worker movement necessary to bring it about.

In the letter, the groups emphasize actions the Biden administration should take to advance bold, structural reform and work alongside the labor movement such as:

  • Fighting corporate greed and monopolies with a focus on ending poverty and redistributing wealth from corporations to workers;
  • Building new, diverse economic and political power through the unionization of sectors long left out of the unionized workforce and that primarily employ Black and Latinx people such as domestic workers, caregivers, farmworkers, retail workers, fast food workers, gig workers, warehouse workers; and
  • Appointing a Secretary of Labor who will prioritize working alongside the labor movement and restructuring the economy to one that works for everyone.

The full text of the letter may be found here.

The People's Action member organizations that signed on to the letter are United Vision for Idaho (ID), Illinois People's Action (IL), Rights and Democracy (NH & VT), Community Voices Heard (NY), Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (IA), Maine People's Alliance (ME), Ground Game LA (CA), West Virginia Citizen Action Group (WV), ONE Northside (IL), Down Home North Carolina (NC), New Hampshire Youth Movement (NH), Missouri Jobs with Justice (MO), Pennsylvania Stands Up (PA), Hometown Action (AL), Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (NV), People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo (NY), Michigan United (MI), Jane Addams Senior Caucus in Action (IL), OneAmerica, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NY), Colorado People's Alliance (CO), Citizen Action of Wisconsin (WI), The People's Lobby (IL), and Citizen Action New York (NY).

People's Action builds the power of poor and working people, in rural, suburban, and urban areas to win change through issue campaigns and elections.