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Biden accepts union endorsements at Philadelphia rally

Photo Credit: Daniel Jackson, Embassy Interactive LLC
Biden accepts union endorsements at Philadelphia rally
By AFSCME Staff ·

PHILADELPHIA – Hundreds of working people gathered in Philadelphia on Saturday to welcome President Joe Biden as he accepted the official endorsements of AFSCME and more than 20 other unions, including several affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

More than two dozen union members took to the stage with their own personal reasons for supporting the president’s reelection. Many called him the most pro-union president in modern history, pointing out his strong support for union organizing along with accomplishments like the American Rescue Plan and his successful push for an infrastructure bill, both of which saved and are creating millions of union jobs.

David Harris, a member of AFSCME Local 394 (District Council 33) who works at Philadelphia’s water department, laid out a simple case to vote to reelect Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris said the country was in trouble under the previous president and the Biden-Harris administration “came through for you, for me, for all of us.”

He then officially introduced Biden to the unions that endorsed him: “I want to introduce to y’all a champion. A champion for working people, a champion for unions, and a champion for America.”

Biden took to the stage to raucous applause and said, “I told you when I ran for president I’d have your back, and I have. But you’ve had my back as well.”

He went on to point out the importance of the labor movement to this country, saying, “If the investment bankers in this country went on strike tomorrow, no one would much notice. But if this room didn’t show up for work tomorrow, the whole country would come to a griding halt. So tell me, who matters more in America?”

Biden went into detail about his first-term record, citing investments his administration has made in the nation’s workforce and infrastructure. He promised in his second term to make the super wealthy “pay their fair share” and said that union members would be at the center of a coming transformation of America.

“The investments we’ve made in these past three years have the power to transform this country for the next five decades,” he told the assembled union members. “And guess who’s going to be at the center of this transformation. You. Unions. Working people in this country.”

The rally came one day after major unions across the country officially endorsed the president for reelection.

In his statement announcing AFSCME’s endorsement, President Lee Saunders said, “Joe doesn’t just thank us for keeping our communities running; he prioritizes our issues and defends our freedoms – the freedom to organize, to earn a living wage, to build thriving communities and to have a seat at the table. And he will help us solve the staffing crisis that is pushing millions of public service workers to their breaking point.”

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