The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging throughout the U.S., but the labor community is hopeful that with many labor-friendly officials in place, more people will be able to go back to work.
United Auto Workers Legislative Director Josh Nassar discussed what needs to be done in order to get people back to work and how to protect them once they are back.
Living in Washington D.C., Nassar said he watched as the events of Jan. 6 unfolded at the Capitol Building. He added that the rhetoric of the past four years cannot be sustained, saying that the new Congress and President-elect Biden need to focus on the needs of the people.
Biden administration appointees and priorities
Nassar is excited about the cabinet nominees coming from the incoming Biden administration. It is refreshing to see a union member nominated to be the Secretary of Labor.
While Nassar is thankful to have a labor-friendly president once again, he feels there needs to be a sense of urgency on day one to get people back to work in the safest way possible. This includes ensuring workplace protections.
In addition to protecting workers from COVID-19, Nassar said the economic fallout needs to be addressed. As said by other AWF Union Podcast guests, it is impossible to cut out of the economic horror caused by the pandemic.
He offered the solution of reshoring auto manufacturing jobs and infrastructure investments. Both of these will put people back to work in union jobs that provide a quality wage and family-supporting benefits.