With a new presidential administration in place, new policies will be enacted and officials will be appointed. The labor community is excited for what will come from President Biden, as he has positioned himself as a labor friendly candidate.
North Coast Area Labor Federation President and United Steelworkers Sub-District 1 Director Pat Gallagher explained his excitement for the new administration and what is to come, as well as the future of the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
Gallagher is optimistic about the new administration and their stance on organized labor. He applauded President Biden for appointing James Fredrick, former assistant head of the United Steelworkers safety and health environment department, for Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
He said the appointment is refreshing after the past four years of anti-worker appointments and lack of enforcement action from OSHA. Fredrick has a long history of supporting workers and understanding their struggles.
Moving forward, Gallagher is excited for the labor movement. President Biden brings a refreshing tone and is not afraid to acknowledge unions.
He said Biden will hold corporations accountable and not allow them to abuse and take advantage of workers, like they have for the past few years.
Keystone XL Pipeline
President Joe Biden signed an executive order rescinding the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that would have produced some 10,000 union jobs. The move was made as environmental experts said the pipeline would cause increased pollution.
Gallagher said the move is disappointing. While the U.S. looks to move towards clean energy, fossil fuels are not going away anytime soon. A pipeline is much cleaner to transport fossil fuels when compared to trucking or rail transportation.