The president’s decision to set up a taskforce to boost union membership is of a piece with other efforts in his first 100 days

Just over 100 days into his presidency Joe Biden is showing that he is one of the most pro-union presidents in American history, declaring the “unions built the middle class” in his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

Union membership has declined precipitously in the US and accounted for about 10.8% of US employees last year, just over half the rate in 1983. Unions have also suffered notable setbacks in recent years, mostly recently failing to get the votes to unionize at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama.

Related: What can Biden do to reverse Trump’s assault on labor rights?

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