Biden Vows to Be ‘Strongest Labor President You’ve Ever Had’

Labor News

Reprinted from The Hill by Zack Budryk on September 7, 2020.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden vowed to be the “strongest labor president you’ve ever had” in a virtual event Monday with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“You can be sure you will be hearing that word ‘union’ plenty of times if I’m in the White House,” Biden said Monday. “If I have the honor of becoming your president, I’m going to be the strongest labor president you have ever had.” …

“There used to be a basic bargain in this country: workers shared in the wealth their work helped create,” he later said during a question-and-answer period. The coronavirus pandemic, he added, has made clear that “we literally couldn’t survive” without front-line workers. …

The Hill 9/7


Only One Candidate Actually Recognized Labor Day

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Jennifer Rubin on September 7, 2020.

It may have been a small thing, but it was telling. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden spent Labor Day on Monday doing events with, well, organized labor. He met in a socially distanced circle with workers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The local news outlet reported, “Biden met with three US Army veterans from Pennsylvania who transitioned into union jobs through apprenticeships following their service, as well as a union leader.” Meeting with working people, the former vice president talked about infrastructure, his work on the Obama-era stimulus plan and, of course, President Trump’s disparagement of the military. From there, it was on to a virtual event with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.

Biden hit some familiar themes: “Wall Street did not build this country. You did — the great American middle class. And the middle class was built by unions.” He knocked Trump for doing little to address the pandemic for fear of rattling Wall Street. And there, too, he hit Trump for calling military men and women “suckers” and “losers.” With some anger in his voice, he told the union members, “The simple truth is, if that’s how you talk about our veterans, you have no business being the president of the United States of America, period.”

Biden’s day in a key swing state, almost “normal” by covid-era standards, stood in stark contrast to Trump, who played golf and held a news conference during which he ranted about and insulted his opponents. “Infrastructure week” remains a punchline, a lost opportunity for someone who made his name as the heir to Fred Trump’s real estate empire. Trump, who in 2016 cut into the Democrats’ base of White, working-class voters, now offers them only bile and fear. …

Washington Post 9/7

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at