President Biden delivered a historic speech from the White House recognizing unions and essential workers for their sacrifices and courage in keeping America moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. The president honored the legacy of the late AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka and took a moment of silence to remember working people who have passed away from the virus.
The president called for the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, legislation that would repeal anti-worker “right-to-work” laws and encourage the formation of unions while expanding collective bargaining rights to more sectors of the economy. Biden also pushed for stronger “Buy American” rules, expanding elder and child care, and passing infrastructure investments and middle-class tax cuts through Congress.
Biden specifically mentioned Machinists Union members and other union members who have worked on the frontlines during the pandemic.
“President Biden has promised to be the most union-friendly president in our lifetime and he has kept his word,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The Biden-Harris administration continues to move a historic pro-worker, pro-democracy agenda that supports and grows the labor movement. Our members will continue fighting to help build back better for our nation’s aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, and all workers.”
“In my White House, labor will always be welcome,” said Biden. “When unions win, workers across the board win. Families win, communities win and America wins. And despite this, workers have been getting cut out of the deal for too long a time.”
Biden’s pro-union address, which was preceded by speeches from U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, came after celebrating Labor Day with union workers in his home state of Delaware.