For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

Saunders: Biden executive orders help working people, strengthen public services

AFSCME President Lee Saunders praises the Biden administration’s swift executive action to protect and empower public service workers, strengthen public services and help working people.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders praised President Joe Biden’s executive orders, including invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA), restoring collective bargaining and worker protections for public service workers serving in the federal government, and increasing support for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“Public service workers have worked tirelessly, stepping up beyond the call of duty throughout the pandemic, to keep their communities safe, healthy and strong. Finally, they have a champion in the White House who respects their work, honors their commitment, and takes bold steps to help them deliver the public services needed to beat the pandemic and get the economy moving.

“For months, AFSCME has called on the White House to invoke the DPA so workers risking their lives on the front lines of our communities have the proper personal protective equipment and resources they need to protect themselves on the job and treat the sick. Now, in less than two days since President Biden took office, help is on the way.

“By restoring collective bargaining rights for federal workers, President Biden is empowering the workforce to have a seat at the table to improve public services and employee well-being. His order promoting a $15 minimum wage for federal workers will lift many out of financial hardship. And I am particularly gratified to see the president terminate the previous administration’s misguided effort to substitute political cronyism for a well-qualified, merit based civil service system.

“The pandemic has shed new light on the health and economic instabilities facing far too many working families. By increasing access to SNAP benefits and other vital programs, millions of children and families will not have to choose between paying the bills and putting food on the table. With these actions and others, President Biden is showing bold leadership, reminding us why elections matter. Now, it is time for Congress to follow this example by shoring up public services, delivering aid to our communities and taking additional steps to help working people survive this devastating pandemic.”