BMWED-IBT Statement on Biden-Harris Victory

Published: Nov 10 2020 9:39AM

Entering the next four-year presidential term, the BMWED – and all Organized Labor – will have a new, encouraging and presumably constructive presidential administration thanks to the victory of President-Elect Joe Biden.

It will not be an easy road. President Biden and the newly-elected Senate will not often see eye-to-eye. Policy that we had hoped would gain momentum – like increased funding for national rail projects; legislation that would combat union busting Right-to-Work laws; support for healthcare reform to lower costs for working class families; an increase in the federal minimum wage – will be an uphill fight.

Yet, we remain optimistic that we can – with a Biden administration – change the priorities of several federal agencies to the betterment of our members. A Department of Labor – rid of its current secretary, Eugene Scalia – will cease its pursuit of union decimation. No longer will our right to protest and shame shifty and miserly employers (see the current assault on Scabby the Rat) come under attack from the very cabinet member presumably seated to support and protect us. No longer will Secretary Scalia preside over deregulatory measures that diminish worker safety protections. OSHA, which under Scalia’s directive has reduce its number of federal workplace inspectors to its lowest level in 45 years, will no longer take a corporate bent. 

A Transportation Secretary to replace Elaine Chao – Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife – who since assuming the position four years ago, has shown great reluctance to pursue long overdue federal rail projects, most notably the Gateway Program in Amtrak’s Northeast corridor and California’s High Speed Rail Authority, among others. Such projects nationwide would provide great work to Union railroaders and improve the lives of commuters and rail passengers.

The FRA, which under the Trump administration dropped its support of two-person crew mandates, would see a return to employee-focused policy that intends to buoy workers instead of railroad management. Replacing its chief administrator, Ron Batory, a former railroad president an COO, with a labor-focused leader should strengthen our safety rules, whistleblower protections, and provide Rail Labor with a reliable advocate.

We look forward to President Biden refocusing support for workers and fulfilling the hollow promises of former-President Trump and the Republican Party. We will press President Biden and his administration, Democrats in both Houses, and, yes, Republicans too, to govern America with focus on its workers, a strengthened job security, an eye to better wages, to stronger, more affordable health care, greater pension security and a focus on safety at the work place.