The Biden administration has been requesting that union bosses, after being appointed to top administration positions, be excluded from ethics rules that bar them from being lobbied by their former union.
Biden has relied heavily on labor union personnel to fill vacancies within his administration, which in turn helps drive policy in their favor, according to the report. Biden gave the unions a huge voice within the federal bureaucracy “at the cost of strictly adhering to his own stringent ethics standards,” the report showed.
Last week, the report showed, the White House waived some of those rules last week for Celeste Drake, who was tapped by Biden to lead the new Made in America Office. The report shows, “Drake was excused from ethics restrictions that would’ve barred her from communicating with her former employers, the AFL-CIO and Directors Guild of America.”
Samuel Bagenstos, who is the White House budget office’s top lawyer, wrote in a memo posted on a disclosure tab of the White House website, “the successful accomplishment of the mission of the newly created Made in America Office relies on extensive, open and collaborative communications … between OMB and non-governmental entities including labor organizations.”
More ethics rules were waived in March in the Office of Personnel Management for Alethea Predeoux, the director of intergovernmental affairs. Predeoux reportedly was the top lobbyist for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). This is the union that represents hundreds-of-thousands of federal government workers. The report said, “absent a waiver, Biden’s ethics pledge would bar her from working on issues on which she lobbied.”
While trying to tout the “importance of organized labor to his agenda and the country generally,” the Biden administration had drawn extensively from the union rank and file when it came time to fill his transition team and administration staff.
Axios further explains posts given to union rank and file:
- Labor leaders enjoyed posts on the transition beachhead teams for most major federal agencies.
- Biden then tapped former union officials for senior posts in agencies including the Labor Department, the Education Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A spokesperson told Axios, “President Biden has stood strong for unions throughout his career, and he’s proud to have leading labor voices in the White House and throughout his administration helping to enact that agenda.”
President of the Job Creators Network (JCN) Alfredo Ortiz also told Axios, “It’s no surprise that President Biden’s union boss appointments have resulted in anti-worker policies like the PRO Act and the $15 minimum wage.”
The report also noted that on his first day in office, Biden fired the general counsel and his immediate successor on the National Labor Relations Board, both of which were seen as being “friendlier to business interests.” This includes the Biden administration’s infrastructure proposal that “would effectively undo right-to-work laws in 28 states and make it far easier to unionize workplaces.”
Last week, the administration also took a huge move by rolling back the Trump administration rule designed to make it easier for companies to classify workers as contractors rather than employees, the report added.