UNITED STATES NEWS

Biden celebrates unions and job creation during a Philadelphia Labor Day appearance

Sep 4, 2023, 8:00 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — President Joe Biden, who often says he’s the most pro-union president in history, touted the importance of unions and applauded American workers in building the economy during a Labor Day appearance in Philadelphia on Monday.

The Democratic president spoke about how the economy is recovering from the crippling coronavirus pandemic as about what his administration has done to pay for infrastructure improvements, and he cited the importance of unions in building the middle class.

“This Labor Day we’re celebrating jobs, good-paying jobs, jobs you can raise a family on, union jobs,” Biden told the crowd gathered Monday. Instead of standing at the podium, the president held the microphone in his hand and walked around the stage behind signs that read “UNION STRONG.”

Labor Day, a holiday honoring workers, comes as the U.S. has added jobs and more people have begun looking for work, the most since January, all news Biden is eager to highlight as he seeks reelection in 2024.

Biden’s Labor Day speech came after news last week that America’s employers added 187,000 jobs in August, evidence of a slowing but still-resilient labor market despite the high interest rates the Federal Reserve has imposed.

Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.8%, the highest level since February 2022 though still low by historical standards. But the rate rose for an encouraging reason: 736,000 people began looking for work last month, the most since January, and not all of them found jobs right away. Only people who are actively looking for a job are counted as unemployed.

The president frequently talked about the importance of middle-class workers in the economy, saying that when the middle class does well, “everyone does well.”

At the Tri-State Labor Day event in Philadelphia, hundreds of union workers donning their local T-shirts — from the Sheet Metal Workers, United Food and Commercial Workers, Stagehands and others — waited on a warm and muggy morning to see the president speak.

Lenny Nutter, a Philadelphia resident wearing a yellow Laborers International Union shirt, said he attended the event to support Biden, adding that unions have been more active than they used to be, due in part to the president’s policies.

“Unions are adding members, and a lot more work has been given to union workers,” Nutter said.

Biden has used executive actions to promote worker organizing, has personally cheered unionization efforts at corporate giants like Amazon and has authorized federal funding to aid union members’ pensions. Just last week, the Biden administration proposed a new rule would make 3.6 million more U.S. workers eligible for overtime pay, the most generous such increase in decades.

“Now you’re going to get paid overtime,” the president told the crowd.

Biden also has traveled the country, trumpeting how union labor is building bridges and improving train tunnels as part of the bipartisan $1.1 trillion public works package Congress passed in 2021.

“Unions raise standards across the workforce and industries, pushing up wages and strengthening benefits for everyone,” Biden said last week. “You’ve heard me say many times: Wall Street didn’t build America. The middle class built America, and unions built the middle class.”

The 36th annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration is hosted by the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, whose website says it comprises more than 100 local labor unions representing more than 150,000 workers.

United States News

Associated Press

Vehicle crashes into building where birthday party held, injuring children and adults, sheriff says

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A vehicle drove through a boat club building where a children’s birthday celebration was taking place Saturday, seriously injuring a number of children and adults, a Michigan sheriff said in a news release. The victims were taken to several area hospitals after the crash that occurred at about 3 p.m. […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

3 hospitalized after knife attack on party boat in New York City, along East River in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) — A knife attack on a crowded party boat at a New York City pier Saturday resulted in the hospitalization of three people, police said. A 911 call came in around 5 p.m. reporting the assault along the East River near 58th Street and the Brooklyn Army Terminal warehouse, Detective Sophia Mason […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers’ overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is giving the union hope that it can make broader inroads in the South, the least unionized part of the country. The UAW won a stunning 73% of the vote at VW after losing elections in 2014 and 2019. […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Conditions improve for students shot in Maryland park on ‘senior skip day’

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Three of the five youths shot in a suburban Washington, D.C., park during a high school “senior skip day” gathering have been released from the hospital, while the condition of the most seriously injured has improved, authorities said Saturday. Police in Greenbelt, Maryland, are asking the public to share video footage […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers pass $237 billion budget addressing housing construction and migrants

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers passed a $237 billion state budget Saturday that includes plans to spur housing construction and combat unlicensed marijuana stores. The package also includes a raft of other measures ranging from expediting the closure of some state prisons, addressing the recent influx of migrants, and continuing the pandemic-era policy […]

6 hours ago

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - DECEMBER 9, 2019: A copy of the record album, 'Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison'...

Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Record Store Day, a holiday invented at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees in 2007, will be observed Saturday.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Biden celebrates unions and job creation during a Philadelphia Labor Day appearance