President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Drew Angerer/Getty
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke with labor leaders and top CEOs on Monday to discuss economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a transition aide told Reuters.
The group included the CEOs of General Motors, Microsoft, Target, and Gap, as well as the president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
Biden told attendees that “unions are going to have increased power” once he comes to office in January.
He called himself a “union guy” — but said “that’s not anti-business.”
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke with labor leaders and top CEOs on Monday during a conference call on the economy, a transition aide told Reuters.
The CEOs represented a range of industries including tech, retail, and automobile manufacturing.
General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, Target’s CEO Brian Cornell, and Gap’s CEO Sonia Syngal all took part in the call, the aide told Reuters.
The meeting signaled that the CEOs and labor leaders accept Biden as president-elect, despite President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede.
Union presidents also attended. These included American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) president Richard Trumka, as well as the heads of the Service Employees International Union, the United Auto Workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, sources told Fox Business.
During the call, Biden discussed his plans for economic recovery from the pandemic — and also called himself a “union guy.”
“Unions are going to have increased power,” Biden told attendees.
He clarified “that’s not anti-business.”
Biden also joked that he should be given “a Nobel Prize” for bringing union leaders and CEOs together for the call.
AFL-CIO President Trumka told Biden and Harris what the government and companies need to do to ensure workers stay safe during the pandemic.
The US needs to manufacture more personal protective equipment, invest in retrofitting workplaces to meet ventilation and distancing requirements, and ensure all COVID-19 cases are counted and reported, he said.
The “most important thing” is reestablishing the mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to focus on protecting workers, Trumka told Biden and Harris. There are fewer inspectors now than at any point in the agency’s history, he added.
Read more: Joe Biden has an extensive selection of women to pick from, thanks to his VP vettings. Here’s who could make it into his Cabinet.
Target CEO Brian Cornell planned to discuss the importance of retail during the pandemic and ask for clear guidance for companies on COVID-19 safety measures, the company told Fox Business.
“We know that the coronavirus has been challenging for American families this year and appreciate the opportunity to educate and advise on this critically important topic,” a spokesman said.
Americans spent less at retailers than expected in October as the economic recovery decelerated amid a worsening pandemic.
After the coronavirus pandemic drove a record plunge in economic output in the second quarter, the US’s summer recovery fueled the largest-ever jump in gross domestic product in the third quarter.
On November 6, more than 24 CEOs of top US firms met to discuss what to do if Trump’s refusal to concede to Biden becomes a threat to democracy.
Read the original article on Business Insider