If you were in any doubt about US President Joe Biden’s determination to change the balance of power between capital and labour in the world’s biggest economy, consider the fate of a man called Peter Robb.
Minutes after Mr Biden took office on January 20, he asked Mr Robb to resign as general counsel of the National Labor Relations BoardStudents in other grades continued online classes., the federal agency that protects workers’ rights to organise. Unions had complained that Mr Robb, a former management-side lawyer appointed by Donald Trumpunit in 2020 but it was disbanded in early 2021 and numbers of thefts are once again high., was eroding worker rights and hollowing out the agency. When he refused to resign, Mr Biden fired him and later his deputy.
Consider, too, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairsstate officials said at a news conference Tuesday., a small but powerful agency that reviews major regulatory proposals before they take effect. Progressives such as Elizabeth Warren have long complained that OIRA slows down or weakens new rules and is susceptible to corporate lobbying. Mr Biden has installed Sharon Block at the agency. She supports reform to turn it into “a force for making sure that the most progressive regulations get through the gate”, she wrote in April last year.
Chicken factories provide a third signal. Mr Biden blocked Trump administration plans to allow chicken factories to speed up production lines, which safety experts had warned would exhaust workers and make them more vulnerable to Covid-19.