Bernie Sanders calls on Joe Biden to be 'more aggressive in taking on union busting activity'
Sanders liked Biden's campaign promise to halt federal contracts for anti-union employers.
Now he says he wants Biden to implement it.
Sanders told Biden in a January meeting to take aggressive action against union busting, he told Insider.
Sen. Bernie Sanders liked President Joe Biden's campaign promise to halt federal contracts for anti-union employers. Now he wants Biden to follow through.
"I want him to be more aggressive in taking on union busting activity that we are seeing," Sanders told Insider.
The Vermont independent said he told Biden as much when they met at the White House in January to discuss Sanders' agenda as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He declined to say Biden's response, calling it a "private conversation."
"I think he's made it very clear, he is pro-union, and there are a number of things that he has done," he said. "But we are going to be working with him to try to get him to do more."
Biden says his infrastructure and manufacturing policies are designed to create union jobs. He tweeted a video message supporting Amazon workers hoping to unionize in Alabama.
When asked whether Biden is fulfiling his pledge to be "the most pro-union president you've ever seen," Sanders responded: "Well, he is, but it's a fairly low bar."
In his new book, Sanders criticizes Biden for not responding to his April 2022 letter urging him to sign an executive order to ban companies like Amazon from receiving taxpayer-funded contracts after he says they "violated labor laws."
"As I write these words some months later, he has not replied," Sanders writes in "It's OK To Be Angry About Capitalism."
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sanders, in his April 26, 2020, letter to Biden, wrote that he was "delighted" to hear Biden's pro-union intentions. He reminded Biden of his campaign promise to "institute a multi-year federal debarment" for employers illegally opposing unions and ensuring federal contracts only go to employers who agree to not run anti-union campaigns.
"That campaign promise was exactly right. Today, I am asking you to fulfill that promise," wrote Sanders, who also held a hearing on the subject when serving as Budget Committee chairman last year. He called Amazon the "poster child as to why this anti-union busting Executive Order is needed now more than ever."
In his book, Sanders doubles down against Amazon and its executive chairman Jeff Bezos, calling him "the embodiment of the extreme corporate greed that shapes our times. While he becomes richer, his employees struggle to get by."
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