Vice President Kamala Harris called for new regulations to help American union workers at a Philadelphia rally on Tuesday.
Harris spoke at the Metal Worker's Local Union No. 19 in the parking lot of the Sheet Metal Worker's Union Hall in South Philadelphia, along with other Democratic politicians. She announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will begin a new program inspecting workplaces for heat issues that could impact workers, WHYY reported.
“We’re going to make sure the workers out there receive all the protection they are entitled to receive. It comes down to the dignity of work,” Harris said at the rally, according to WHYY.
Harris said she and President Joe Biden are “determined to lead the most pro-union administration in America’s history.” Other Democratic speakers at the rally also echoed this statement, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“Each and every day in ways big and small, unions change lives, unions negotiate better wages and safer working conditions for millions of workers around our country. Let us be clear, even if you are not a member of a union, you thank unions for every benefit that you receive,” Harris said, according to WHYY.
United States Labor Secretary Marty Walsh raised the issue of those working in warehouses and on roofs suffering from heat-related issues due to climate change. He added that the Biden-Harris administration is working to implement new regulations to fight the problem.
Harris chairs the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment alongside Walsh, a former Mayor of Boston and union leader. In February, the group drafted a report that included dozens of recommendations to make it easier for workers to “organize and bargain collectively,” the Inquirer reported
Several politicians took the opportunity to call for support in the midterm elections. Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), who spoke before Harris, asked those in attendance for help leading up to Election Day. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney also spoke to the union crowd, according to WHYY.
“We all recognize that we are in this together. And we can only win if we work together with our union brothers and sisters all working together, we can send a message,” Kenney said.
Harris’ visit to Philadelphia was also meant to promote Democratic policies and halt the exodus of blue-collar workers from the Democratic party ahead of the midterm elections, the Inquirer reported.
Previously, Harris came to Philadelphia in September 2020 on the campaign trail ahead of the 2020 general election. At the time, Harris visited the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee headquarters and met with party leaders and members of the Penn community.