By taking the time to volunteer even during a pandemic, NUHW members once again helped elect dozens of pro-worker candidates across California.
Most importantly, by joining the millions of Americans who called swing state voters over the past several weeks, we helped elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
President-elect Biden’s victory is a huge win for workers across the country. During the pandemic, President Trump’s Labor Department actually weakened safety rules — including PPE requirements — to benefit healthcare corporations. And the Trump National Labor Relations Board has made it easier for employers to impose takeaways mid-contract, discipline workers without a hearing, avoid bargaining over health and safety issues caused by the pandemic, and stall union organizing drives.
We expect that this will be reversed under President-elect Biden and that the Labor Department and the NLRB will return to their proper role in protecting working as opposed to corporations.
However, even in California, the election included several disappointments. Corporate behemoths including Uber and Lift spent over $200 million to overturn a law that would have provided critical health benefits and job protections to gig economy workers. And several of the hard-fought gains we won in 2018 have been reversed, including the defeat of Congressmen Gil Cisneros and Harley Rouda in Orange County and TJ Cox in the Central Valley.
Still, we have many victories to celebrate. We helped Josh Newman, of Fullerton, regain his State Senate seat after he was ousted in a 2018 recall election. And we helped elect Holly Mitchell to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, Connie Chan to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Carroll Fife to the Oakland City Council. We also helped Todd Gloria become the first LGBTQ mayor of San Diego and George Gascon become the first reform-minded District Attorney of Los Angeles County. Throughout California, we have never had more allies in local government ready to stand up for NUHW members than we have following this election.
These victories are a direct result of the hours of volunteer time so many NUHW members devoted to making our candidate recommendations and helping elect our candidates. This election didn’t end up being the clean sweep we had hoped for, but we should all be proud of what we’ve accomplished and the exciting work we have ahead of us.