A Tale of Two Administrations: A Comparative View of the Impact on Labor – Biden vs. Trump

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2023 – In the midst of President Biden’s historic trip to the UAW picket line and former President Trump’s political rally in Michigan, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), representing a diverse membership of over 600,000 individuals, proudly stands in support of President Biden as a stalwart champion for working families in the United States.

President Biden’s unwavering commitment to the labor movement and the IAM, in particular, is deeply rooted in a long history of advocacy. This remarkable journey encompasses a groundbreaking investment in infrastructure and manufacturing and the enforcement of stringent Buy American provisions. The accomplishments under President Biden’s leadership also include the passage of transformative legislation, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the life-saving American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan helped save the airline industry, echoing his collaborative efforts with President Obama on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which played a pivotal role in rescuing the American auto industry and fostering millions of jobs nationwide.

The broken promises of President Trump, vowing that “U.S. workers won’t lose one plant” and asserting that “[plants] are all coming back,” resonate in the memories of our members, encapsulated in our “Broken Promise” video series.

“Since taking office, President Biden has spearheaded the creation of millions of jobs, prominently featuring nearly 800,000 new manufacturing positions, “ said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The resounding success of the Buy America policy has directly improved the livelihoods of countless working Americans. President Biden remains steadfast in safeguarding workers’ rights, exemplified by his repeal of Trump-era regulations that impeded union organizing and collective bargaining. During President Trump’s administration, at least 48 IAM-represented plants closed during his time in office.The President has underscored his commitment to pro-worker policies in strategic appointments across key federal agencies such as the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Joe Biden’s policies continue to build and grow an economy that works in the best interest of working families.”

In stark contrast, the track record of former President Donald Trump reveals a pattern of antagonism towards unions and working families. Repeated attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing the health insurance coverage of millions, coupled with tax policies that disproportionately favored the wealthy while offering limited relief to working families, characterize his administration. Donald Trump’s persistent assaults on IAM members included efforts to undermine unions, roll back safety regulations, and slash funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a vital independent government agency responsible for enforcing U.S. labor law, plays a pivotal role in shaping the lives of working people. Factual evidence unequivocally illustrates how the Trump Administration’s actions eroded the rights of union members, while the Biden Administration has ushered in a climate of empowerment for unions.

Under the Trump NLRB, a series of rulings weakened our rights. Additionally, the Trump administration terminated job security for thousands of IAM Service Contract Act workers laboring on military bases when new service contractors were introduced. The Trump administration deprived federal sector employees of union access and created barriers to effective bargaining within the federal workforce.

In sharp contrast, the Biden Administration demonstrated its pro-union stance by initiating President Biden’s tenure by removing former NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb, known for pursuing anti-worker cases and decisions at the agency. The Biden administration introduced an unprecedented Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, broadening union access for federal and private sector workers stationed on military bases and federal property.

The Biden NLRB, unmistakably pro-union and pro-worker, has sought input on various critical matters, including:

  1. Allowing unions to organize appropriate bargaining units, moving beyond the restrictive “wall-to-wall” approach
  2. Expanding traditional make-whole remedies for unfair labor practices to encompass consequential damages
  3. Strengthening workers’ rights to engage in concerted activities
  4. Extending protections to workers through a redefinition of independent contractor status
  5. And numerous other initiatives aimed at supporting workers’ rights

For more detailed information, click here to access the IAM Fact Sheet on the Presidential Impact on Labor.

The contrast between the Biden and Trump administrations’ approaches to labor and workers’ rights is striking. President Biden’s legacy is a testament to his unwavering commitment to uplifting American workers, while the Trump Administration’s actions underscore a period of erosion and indifference. 

The IAM proudly stands behind President Biden as a champion for America’s working families. We remain dedicated to advocating for the rights and welfare of our members and all workers.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of North America’s largest and most diverse industrial trade unions, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries. 

 goIAM.org | @MachinistsUnion



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