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Biden honors union workers in event at White House

President Joe Biden
Posted at 6:59 AM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 12:33:06-04

Two days after the Labor Day holiday, President Joe Biden took time to honor union workers Wednesday in prepared remarks from the White House.

Speaking alongside Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Biden noted that unions provided "dignity" to the American worker.

"America wasn't built by Wall Street. It was built by the middle class, and unions built the middle class," Biden said.

He also called for the passage of legislation that would encourage the formation of unions and expand collective bargaining rights to more sectors of the economy.

"Government's job to remove barriers to collective bargaining," Biden said.

He also touted his administration's economic accomplishments, noting that workers have better job opportunities than in years past.

"In the economy my administration is building, instead of workers competing with each other for the jobs that are scarce — everybody is mad at me because now, guess what? Employers are competing to attract workers, having to raise pay," Biden said.

"When unions win, workers across the board win," he added.

Biden's address comes after he spent his first Labor Day as president by providing sandwiches to union workers in his home state of Delaware. There, the Associated Press reported that Biden shook hands and chatted with workers during their break.

Throughout the 2020 presidential campaign and in the first months of his administration, Biden has positioned himself as a pro-union president, often calling them the "backbone of America."

The remarks also come as he continues to push Congress to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure package and a $3 trillion budget bill — plans that Biden says will create good-paying jobs for union workers, most of which can be had without a college degree. However, Republicans are skeptical and say the bill's high price tags could slow economic growth down the road.