Joe Biden gave a Labor Day speech on the battlefield of Wisconsin to endorse union expansion, reiterating his campaign promises to be the “most pro-union president” in American history.
The US President argued in Milwaukee that a skilled, unionized workforce would help the United States regain its place as a world leader in infrastructure and manufacturing.
Building on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s explicit support for unions during the new deal, Biden said, “I encourage unions…we need key protections for workers to build an economy from the bottom up and in the middle. I’m tired of the economic fallout.
Biden’s comments come amid a major resurgence for the labor movement in the United States, with more support for unions than at any time in the past 60 years, especially as low-wage workers across a range of industries try to unionize.
Earlier Monday, Biden spoke out in favor of a California bill, the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act — currently on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk — that would make it easier for farmworkers to organize.
“The least we owe them is an easier path to making a free and fair choice to organize a union,” Biden said.
The Labor Day holiday in an election year typically marks the start of the final sprint before the November vote. With so much at stake this year midterm electionsBiden and Republican leaders are ramping up the rhetoric.
There is also feverish speculation over whether Donald Trump will announce, before the election, a new race for the Republican nomination to take over the White House in 2024, as he is embroiled in a host of criminal and civil investigations, from New York to Georgia.
In Wisconsin, Biden again tried to distinguish between the kind of mainstream Republicans he’s worked with before and “the far right, Maga Republicans, Trumpies,” he said, who “pose a threat for democracy and economic security, and embrace political violence”. ”.
His use of the word “Trumpies” lit up social networks. Incumbent Biden has largely avoided referring to his predecessor by name in public or directly targeting his loyalist voter base.
But last month he referred to the phenomenon of hardline Republicans steadfastly buying into Trump’s nationalist “Make America Great Again” agenda amid encouragement of “political violence.” as “semi-fascism”then last week said the United States was in a battle for the soul of the nation.
On Monday, he said, “You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-democracy,” referring to Jan 6 advocates. attack on the United States Capitol by hardline Trump supporters hoping to overturn Biden’s victory.
Biden continued his campaign from Milwaukee to Pittsburgh for his third visit in Pennsylvania within a week – emphasizing the importance of the swing state, which the president, originally from Pennsylvania, won back for Democrats in 2020. Trump, who won Pennsylvania in 2016, joined in Saturday.
After months of catastrophic polls, the the signs are more positive for Biden and Democrats after a series of legislative and political victories, including securing a landmark bill to tackle the climate crisis and health care costs on the line.
The US Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn the right to abortion too seems to galvanize the Democratic base, independent and swing voters, especially women, which could hurt Republicans at the polls.
In a two-pronged push for organized labor, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at an event in Boston, where she noted, “Joe Biden and I are committed to leading the administration the most pro-union in American history. We are proud.”
She remembers her immigrant parents taking her to civil rights rallies as a child. “Today, on the picket lines, in union halls and on construction sites; in hospitals, schools and grocery stores, unionized workers are fighting for better wages and safer working conditions. You are fighting to protect union pensions and the right of all workers to be able to retire with dignity… Our whole nation, whether unionized or not, benefits from your work,” she said.