VP Harris to meet Thursday with union organizers

May 3, 2022 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will meet with union organizers at the White House on Thursday, part of a broader effort by the administration to boost unionization campaigns at major employers.

A White House official insisted on anonymity to share the details of the gathering. Among the guests will be Chris Smalls, who heads the Amazon Labor Union and won a vote last month to unionize warehouse workers on Staten Island, New York. Other organizers attending include those working to unionize Starbucks, outdoors retailer REI and the animation studio Titmouse.

Just 10.3% of workers belong to unions, down from 20.1% in 1983, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But union organizing has gained momentum as younger workers have sought to unionize at tech companies such as Alphabet, the parent company of Google. The White House meeting will include discussions about how to inspire workers to choose to join unions.

Harris chairs an administration task force on worker organizing. Walsh, a former Boston mayor and union official, is the vice chair.