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Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:18 AM

Inside Joe Biden's decision to dive into the Amazon union drive


Joe Bidenís endorsement of the right of workers at an Amazon facility in Alabama to unionize was the culmination of weeks of private talks with labor organizers and Democratic officials who viewed the standoff as an early test of the presidentís commitment to their cause.

Unions are hoping the message, delivered by a video over Twitter, is a sign that organized labor will have staying power in the Biden White House and that it fuels support for a broader overhaul of federal labor law and expansion of union rights.

Democrats approached Biden advisers early this year to voice support for the factory workers. Discussions between White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, unions, and allied operatives took further shape in early February and continued through recent weeks. Those involved said they wanted Biden to weigh in with a forceful statement in support of the drive to become the first unionized Amazon facility in the U.S.

The White House, meanwhile, was undertaking a legal review to ensure any statement would be consistent with the presidentís commitment to maintaining the independence of the National Labor Relations Board. Officials would not say when the review concluded. However, Klain privately indicated last week that he was looking to feature the president in a video message. Outside pressure for Biden to engage only grew from there.

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