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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Biden today said he would create a task force to put the federal government’s weight behind worker organization efforts.

Details: It will be chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris, with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh as vice chair. 

Why it matters: The White House is closely watching employee organization efforts, on the heels of a failed unionization by Amazon workers that could have opened the floodgates for e-commerce unions in the U.S. 

  • A union complaint last week alleged the tech giant interfered in the vote by threatening layoffs or a facility closure, among other tactics, if workers voted in favor of joining the union. 

What they're saying: Declining union membership has contributed to economic inequality and the shrinking of the middle class, as well as the pay gap that women and workers of color experience, a statement announcing the order says.

  • The task force includes more than 20 Cabinet members and heads of federal agencies for a “whole of government approach to empower workers.”

Go deeper

Industry leader calls for unionization

"State of Decay 2." Screenshot: Undead Labs/Microsoft

The call for game developers to unionize is now coming from a voice close to the top. On Friday, former Blizzard senior programmer and three-time studio founder Jeff Strain released a letter encouraging his own developers to unionize.

Why it matters: Unionization is often mentioned by industry pundits and workers themselves as a crucial maneuver to empower the people who make games, but it’s been a non-starter at most studios.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

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