US railway workers threatened to strike until they got paid sick leave. The president’s administration chose political cowardice
It’s sad, really. The beleaguered labor unions of America thought that they had finally found a true friend. In Joe Biden, they had a man who was the most pro-union president in my lifetime – a low bar to clear, but something. Yet this week we found out that when the fight got hard, Biden had the same thing to say to working people that his Democratic predecessors have for decades: “You’ll never get anything you want if I don’t win; but once I win, I can’t do the things you need, because then I wouldn’t be able to win again.”
At the same time that thousands of union members are fanned out across the state of Georgia knocking on doors to get Raphael Warnock elected and solidify Democratic control of the Senate – to save the working class, of course! – Biden decided to sell out workers in the single biggest labor battle of his administration. Rather than allowing the nation’s railroad workers to exercise their right to strike, he used his power to intervene and force them to accept a deal that a majority of those workers found to be unacceptable.
Hamilton Nolan is a writer at In These Times