The American people have chosen Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be the next president and vice president of the United States. This is not a reasonable matter of dispute, as the winning ticket received a substantial majority of the votes cast.

With the election behind us, it is time for Americans to come together to help our new administration solve the serious problems confronting all of us.

The coming weeks, months and years can and should be a time of positive change, an era of new opportunities for working people.

On the campaign trail, President-elect Biden made many promises to push for fairer treatment of workers and to take steps to correct the moral injustices inherent in the corporate system.

We need to make sure he follows through on these commitments.

A strong ally

We have faith that our next president will fight for working people, not just because of his words, but because of his actions.

In the spring of 2019, he stood with UFCW members in New England as our brothers and sisters at Stop & Shop were on strike for fair wages and benefits.

“Workers are not being treated across the board with dignity,” Biden said at a rally for the striking workers.

“People go out and make a living, people who play by the rules, people who have done everything they’re supposed to do,” he continued. “They are entitled to be treated with respect and decency and fairness.

“We will take back this country,” he said. “I mean it. Don’t give up. Keep it going.”

As president, he will have no lack of opportunities to make a difference. For one thing, Biden will oversee the National Labor Relations Board and other entities that directly affect what unions can achieve at the bargaining table. He also will appoint a director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). In addition, our new president will wield extraordinary power as he confronts long-term issues such as income inequality, social injustice and climate change.

First things first

But we can’t begin to make meaningful changes in this country until we deal with the most pressing issue of the moment: getting the coronavirus under control.

With a new administration that takes COVID-19 seriously, UFCW Local 99 expects to have an ally in our fight to protect the essential workers in the industries we serve. Beyond the continued need for PPE and other workplace safety measures, our members on the front lines deserve restoration of hazard pay and other benefits as they continue risking their health to keep the country fed.

For all of our sakes, let’s put away the campaign signs. Let’s come together and do all we can to keep each other safe and work for a brighter future under the next presidential administration.