CWA Statement in Response to President Biden’s Global Labor Directive
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. released the following statement regarding President Biden’s announcement of the Presidential Memorandum on Advancing Worker Empowerment, Rights, and High Labor Standards Globally.
CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. issued the following statement:
I commend President Biden on the historic memorandum on Advancing Worker Empowerment, Rights, and High Labor Standards Globally. This is an important effort to ensure that abuses toward trade unionists and labor activists do not go unchecked and those who perpetuate the violence are held accountable.
The whole-of-government approach ensures that all federal agencies that work with governments globally will be directed to put workers’ rights first and foremost. By centering our policies on the rights of workers globally, we can strengthen our economic security at home by combating the race to the bottom, where companies move our good-paying union jobs overseas so that they can exploit international workers who are threatened, intimidated, abused and killed for organizing.
Over the years, our union has seen call centers, factories, tech industry and video gaming, and other jobs across all our industries shift operations overseas and downsize, or shut down, their U.S. operations. Local communities and entire regions are devastated when these jobs are offshored. In many cases, this happens because companies know they can move jobs overseas and profit off the exploitation of workers in countries like the Philippines, where the struggle to organize a union or fight for better wages can be a matter of life or death.
The Philippines has been ranked one of the deadliest countries for workers by the International Trade Union Confederation for a number of years. Our union has continued to work in solidarity with workers in the Philippines, to speak out against the atrocities against trade unionists within the country.
The strategy outlined by President Biden will lift labor standards domestically and internationally, and importantly, will do so by giving workers a seat at the table.
We look forward to working with all agencies within the Biden Administration to ensure that our global economy puts workers first.