Vice President Joe Biden gave a rousing speech on behalf of unions on Labor Day to a welcoming crowd in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He paid homage to workers and their decades of hard labor while issuing an ominous warning of what is to come if Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is able to slither his way into the White House in November.
Biden laid into the union-busting Republican Party, “Unions have literally built this state. The dues you have paid, the picket lines you have marched in — all of that — has benefited not only you, it has benefited every American worker. You’ve done more for non-union labor than any other entity in the world. And that’s not hyperbole. Non-union workers have all of the benefits they have because you’ve taken risks for them. Do any of you think there would be a minimum wage without union workers? It would not exist.”
The Vice President went on to rhetorically ask, “Where’s it come from? It comes from people who understand what it’s like to look across the bargaining table and know the guy on the other side really doesn’t respect you.” Biden then illustrated how the modern plight of union laborers stems from the reckless actions of selfish oligarchs and predatory robber barons like Donald Trump:
They know there are so many people like Trump who look at us like we’re not their equal. I am sick of it. I have had it up to here! They see their success, and so does Trump, in your demise. It is not a joke. It is about time we all woke up. The idea that, let me give you an example, everybody assumes that I have been pro-labor because of my background and that’s true. Here’s the deal, a recent study that just came out. The Economic Policy Institute, a 50-page study, came out 10 days ago. Here is the headline. Union decline lowers wages for non-union workers. Notice it didn’t say union decline lowers wages for union workers. It goes on to point out, and I said this in 1979, if we had the same number of organized labor in America now as we did then, the wages would be $2,750 more than it is today.”
Individuals who have been following Trump’s abysmal campaign know he favors to employ undocumented workers while simultaneously demanding those same workers be deported for doing the very jobs Trump hired them to do. Trump’s rhetoric is nonsensical and hypocritical showing he favors a two-tiered system; one for him and one for everyone else. It has even been Trump hosted a “sweat shop” for undocumented immigrant models in New York City.
The exiting VP then implored the audience that to stop Trump, a new way forward is needed, a fresh approach:
“So ladies and gentlemen, it is about time we stop apologizing for anything, for anything at all. I am so tired of the fact that the Chamber of Commerce, even some Democrats tip-toe around organized labor, unions. Because look, think about where we are. When the recession hit this guy and I spent a lot of time all around the country, and who did the labor busters successfully blame for the recession? They blamed it on unions and THEY WON! THEY WON! They convinced the state of Wisconsin that the reason schools were failing were unions!”
Biden finished his fiery speech in demanding that voters to hold their elected officials accountable: “Demand anybody you vote for speak up, demand they do what Hillary is doing. Make sure, folks, that we are waking up. As I have said we are in a position where not just Joe Biden cites some boring points. You should remember them with all due respect. Keep them in mind so you can argue with anyone.”
All of the rights unions have won through blood and toil for workers from a minimum wage, to a 40-hour work week, to healthcare, to maternity leave for pregnant women to care for their children, are all things that would be gleefully removed by Trump in favor of profits. Individuals who failed to recognize these truths only have themselves to blame for being willfully ignorant.
The picture painted by Biden of a dystopian future under President Trump is still a terrifying possibility. If he succeeds in convincing
the American people enough white people that he is the right choice for the job, the ramifications for everyday Americans will be felt for decades in the future. Trump will destroy the American economy in a matter of months if he actually follows through with his ridiculous plans, and by the time he is removed from office the damage will have already been done.
The American union and organized labor made America great in the first place. It’s far past time we did it again.
Watch his full speech here: