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Biden: Strongest Labor President Ever

Promises to go after union busting corporations with an open door for unions

Kris LaGrange's picture
Sep 08, 2020

Instead of spending Labor Day at the golf course, former Vice President Joe Biden joined the AFL-CIO and their President Richard Trumka on a webstream with labor leaders and members.

During the call, Biden made a few noteworthy statements. First, he promised to be the most pro-union president in history. “I’m going to be the strongest labor president you have ever had,” the former vice president said. “My uncle in Scranton, Uncle Ed, used to say, ‘Joey, you’re labor from belt buckle to shoe sole.' I’ve never been afraid to say the word ‘union.’ … You can be sure you’ll be hearing that word ‘union’ plenty of times if I’m in the White House. The words of a president matter. ‘Union.' I promise you this, if you give me the honor of being your President, you’ll never have a better friend or stronger ally in the White House. If I’m in the Oval Office, guess who is going to be there with me? Unions and Rich the bad news is there is no getting away from me.”

Biden also said that if he is elected there will be real penalties for bosses who take part in anti-union activity. “I’m going to hold company executives personally liable for interfering with workers who are attempting to unionize. It’s not enough just to have their corporations pay a fine. If they’re part of the problem, they are going to pay a personal price,” Biden said. He has previously suggested that employers who take part in union-busting could face jail time under a Biden Presidency.

He also promised to put people on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that are fair to unions, unlike the current board which is run by the PATCO strikebreaker Peter Robb. “We’re going to have a National Labor Relations Board that wears striped shirts, is fair, that actually defends workers' rights,” said Biden. “If you go back to the 1930s, the purpose of the NLRB, it doesn’t say Americans must allow unions to exist. That’s what corporations try to tell you. What the act explicitly says is that the government should encourage unionization. Encourage!”

He also said that he would make it a priority to direct federal government funds to American owned businesses instead of overseas businesses.

Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris also spent Labor Day meeting with union workers. Harris went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she did a tour of IBEW 494’s training center. After the tour, IBEW 494 Business Manager Dean Warsh said “The Milwaukee Electrical JATC was honored to welcome 2020 Vice President candidate Kamala Harris to our training facility. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been longtime proponents of organized labor. Kamala saw firsthand how the state-of-the-art training center provides a no-cost education to the region’s men and women who want to become electrical workers.

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a long record of standing up for union members, and we believe it’s in the best interest of IBEW members to elect Joe president. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the best choices for the IBEW, because they have taken the time to listen to what our members have to say about the biggest challenges facing our country. Under the Biden-Harris ticket, IBEW members will always have a seat at the table in a Biden administration.”

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