Biden holds joint assembly with union leaders and CEOs of main retail, auto and tech firms

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden hosted a joint meeting Monday with labor union leaders and the chief executives of major tech, retail and auto companies.

The business leaders at the virtual meeting were General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Microsoft president and CEO Satya Nadella, Target chairman and chief executive Brian Cornell and Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap.

Labor leaders included AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, SEIU president Mary Kay Henry, UAW leader Rory Gamble, AFSCME president Lee Saunders and Marc Perrone, president of the UFCW.

According to a transition staffer, the purpose of the meeting is to “discuss the economic recovery and building back better in the long term.”

Biden is bringing together “leaders from business and labor to discuss how – despite our different  perspectives – we can work together to reach our common goals,” said the aide.

The event marks the first time that Biden as president-elect has formally convened business and labor leaders to discuss his economic recovery agenda.

The meeting is the latest example of Biden forging ahead with the traditional schedule of events for a president-elect, despite the fact that President Donald Trump has refused to concede the race.

Each of the labor leaders represents a union that either wholly or in part endorsed Biden’s presidential campaign.

But the attendance of such high-profile CEOs is more noteworthy, largely because it represents a public endorsement of Biden’s legitimacy as president-elect.

Following the meeting, Biden will deliver remarks on “ensuring our workers and businesses can operate safely and rebuilding our economy to be more resilient and inclusive,” said the transition aide.

He is also expected to discuss how the economic recovery is dependent upon controlling the spread of coronavirus.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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