Remarks by President Biden in Honor of Labor Unions

East Place

11:58 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Jocelyn, thank you.  Please.  Please, be sure to, make sure you.  Thank you, Jocelyn. 

Please, sit down.  Thank you.  I — absolutely nothing to it, is there, Jocelyn?  Just strolling in and stand at the podium, and — (laughter) — talking at the White Residence.  Practically nothing to it.  You did a good task.  And thank you.  And thank you.

Before I definitely begin, I want to say that I think one particular of the biggest things which is improved is — my dear mother, God bless her soul, made use of to say, “Out of anything negative, a thing superior will occur if you search challenging ample for it.” 

And I think just one of the great points which is appear out of this godawful crisis relating to COVID is normal people today who under no circumstances believed about the technician at the drugstore, under no circumstances imagined about the grocery retailer worker, hardly ever thought about what that firefighter has to do when they go in.  They never talk to, “Do you have COVID or not?”  In no way considered about the individuals who maintain this place up and running in advance of. 

I really indicate this sincerely.  It’s not a — it’s not a political — it’s a fact. 

And I assume people today went, “Whoa, whoa.”  And in its place of — which was a great detail — banging pots and pans when individuals came again from rescuing other people, I assume they began to realize, “You know, this is part of the deal.”  And to use my dad’s expression — and I signify it sincerely — and some — a number of of you understood my dad — he explained, “Everyone is entitled to be addressed with dignity.”  And that’s what the labor union is all about: dignity.  It gives dignity for men and women who should have to be taken care of otherwise. 

And I want to thank Jocelyn, and I want to thank President Shuler — Madam President.  And I know you did not assume to be in this function at this second, but as I informed you just before, I believe that the long term of American labor is in really fantastic fingers.  I really imply it.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

And I want to welcome anyone to the White Dwelling.  And I really signify that.  This is your house.  It’s not hyperbole.  It is a simple fact.  This is your property.  I would not be right here without having you.  Which is, yet again, not hyperbole. 

In my White Residence, you will often be welcome.  You will usually be welcome.  Labor will often be welcome.  You know, you’ve listened to me say lots of instances: I intend to be the most professional-union President major the most professional-union administration in American heritage. 

But I think one of the causes I’m ready to do that is the community is changing, far too.  You’ve adjusted the general public you’ve educated them a great deal.

I want to thank the dues-having to pay users of the Laborers, Marty — (laughs) — Marty Walsh, who’s serving to make confident that we maintain the commitments across our total federal government. 

And prior to I go any even further, I’d like to pause for a second of silence to honor the hundreds of union personnel and vital employees who have died from COVID-19 and to honor a buddy, John Sweeney, who we misplaced previously this yr, and to honor a certainly pricey buddy, Prosperous Trumka. 

A moment of silence, remember to.

(A instant of silence is observed.)

Thank you.  This is actual. 

Just one of the factors I admired about Wealthy is that he recognized what people in this economy are truly facing.  He, like most of you, felt it in his bones.  He understood what experienced took place to employees in this country, like you do.  I’ve obtained to know a ton of you seriously, actually properly.  You just truly feel it.  You style it.  You fully grasp it.

I — I get kidded by my staff for — all these decades, and I say: I have faith in the human being most who arrives at the proper decision when it starts off in their gut, it goes to their coronary heart, and then they have the means to articulate it because they — it goes to the brain.  They’re the kinds that never back again down.  They’re the ones that continue to be with you. 

The ones who get there at it intellectually are the kinds that are the types who to start with — I welcome that, but they’re not the types who stay to the stop. 

And, you know, Loaded comprehended the previous and the worries, like so several of you who lived and led by these times.  But he also understood the long run.  I believe he understood who developed this country and the instruments that were wanted to — to construct it again and create it back again far better. 

You’ve read me say it a hundred occasions: We’re the only state in the earth that goes into a disaster and, when we occur out of it, we’re more powerful than in advance of we went in it.  That’s by developing again better.

We’re going to build again far better.  We have to.  We must.  We will.  Simply because which is who we are.  Which is what The us is. 

On Labor Day, we honor the dignity of the American employee.  And every single working day, we bear in mind that The us was not created by Wall Road.  They are not all lousy individuals out on Wall Road.  I’m not suggesting that.  But they didn’t make America.  It was developed by the center course, and unions crafted the middle course.  (Applause.)

You gave — you gave workers a voice, all the way again from my Wonderful-grandfather Blewitt who was a mining engineer, again in the days of the Molly Maguires and all the way — and people who ended up treated in northeast Pennsylvania, in the coalmines.  You gave folks a voice.  Molly Maguires was — they — they had been a minor more durable.  (Laughter.)  You gave them a hard time, and you finished up on the doorstep, in a bag.

But, you know, feel about it: What are the primary matters — my father applied to say, “You know, we just thought it would give individuals potential to just be ready to take a deep breath, have a minimal bit of respiration place.” 

And what — what are individuals issues?  Properly, healthcare a pension, God keen increased wages and a safer office and protections from discrimination and harassment.  Which is not inquiring far too a lot. 

We basically transformed how we stay and how we do the job in this nation.  The rationale we have is simply because of the victories received by labor.  I’m likely to be a bit repetitive: the 8-hour day the weekend you know, time and a 50 percent for time beyond regulation basic safety expectations unwell days — victories for all of us.  Because, I may well include, you know, I seen when you all do that, every person added benefits — (laughter) — irrespective of whether they belong to a union or not.  (Applause.)  Whether they belong to a union or not. 

When unions win, personnel throughout the board gain.  That is a point. Families earn, group wins, The united states wins.  We mature.  And despite this, employees have been acquiring slice out of the offer for too lengthy a time. 

You know, from 1948, soon after the war, to 1979, efficiency in The united states increased by extra than 100 % when the spend for American staff grew by almost 100 percent. 

And then alongside arrived 1979, and everything started to change.  Productivity in the place has grown just about 4 occasions more quickly than pay given that 1979.  That usually means the staff have been supplying substantially far more to their employers’ base lines than they’ve gotten back again in their paychecks, breaking the simple deal of this place.   The cut price was: If you function difficult and you add to the welfare of the outfit you work with, you obtained to share in the gains.

Very well, that stopped for a extensive time.  So, you can carve out your piece of the center class and make it a chance.  That’s what got taken away for a whole lot of persons.

Instead, some persons began seeing the stock market and company income and govt pay out as the only evaluate for economic expansion. 

By the way, the inventory market place has absent up exponentially due to the fact I’ve been President.  You haven’t heard me say a phrase about it.  (Laughter.)   I’m happy it is long gone up.  No problem.

But, seem, allow me notify you some thing: My evaluate of economic results is how family members, like mine escalating up — doing the job family members busting their neck — how they are carrying out whether they have a very little breathing room no matter whether they have a work that delivers some dignity, a paycheck they can assistance a loved ones on. 

In an economic climate — you know, in the economy my administration is building, as a substitute of workers competing with each individual other for the work opportunities that are scarce, most people is mad at me since now — guess what? — companies are competing to draw in personnel, possessing to raise pay.  (Applause.)

No, I’m really serious.  Think about it.  That sort of levels of competition in the sector will help staff earn bigger wages.  It also presents them the power to demand from customers dignity and regard in the workplace.

Merely place, worker electricity is essential to making our financial state back far better than ahead of — it’s just that fundamental — to counter company electric power, to mature the economic system from the base up and the center out.  I’m so weary of trickle-down. 

I inquire, “When has the middle course performed much better that the wealthy have not accomplished extremely properly?”  I just cannot believe of a time that all the- — when the middle class is booming and going, every person does nicely. 

And to give workers even far more power, I also signed an executive purchase to strengthen opposition in the financial system, like calling for a ban on non-compete agreements that deny personnel the ideal to alter the task in the similar area, even when there’s no genuine cause for a organization to end them.  It was all about suppressing wages.  That is what it was about. 

In Congress — when Congress passed the 1935 Labor Relations Act, it didn’t just say you can have unions — it must be authorized.  That’s how it is sort of seen for a very long time.  It said that we, the federal government, really should inspire unions and collective bargaining, creating it less complicated.  (Applause.)  That’s what it claimed.

And I think just about every worker ought to have a totally free and honest choice to join a union.  The legislation guarantees that preference.  That belongs to employees, not to their employers or to distinctive interests. 

Which is why I signed an executive buy producing a White Household Undertaking Power on Employee Organizing and Employment [Empowerment]: to facilitate that option each time and anywhere we can. 

Search, I want to thank Vice President Harris and Secretary Walsh — Marty — for leading that process force.  That’s why I want to see Congress go the Professional Act and mail it to my desk promptly.  That is why I want us to lengthen arranging and collective bargaining legal rights to state and nearby authorities staff, like transit staff, to start with responders, healthcare staff, and other critical employees.  And guess what?  The general public seems to agree with that as nicely.

Federal government need to never be a barrier to workers arranging.  It is government’s career to take out those people barriers.  But it’s up to employees to make the option no matter whether to organize or not, whether to type a union or not.  And we want to aid them understand why that can be the correct preference for them.

We know the financial reasons: Union associates get bigger wages, better advantages, like overall health insurance and paid leave, protections from discrimination and harassment, and a safer and much healthier place of work.

But there’s one more rationale — a simple American purpose.  Employees who be a part of unions gain power — electricity more than the selections and the selection-makers that impact their life.  Workers’ voices are read and heeded.  In a uncomplicated term, a union indicates there is democracy.  Democracy.  Organizing, becoming a member of a union — that is democracy in motion.

And it is about dignity on the position.  But it’s also about building excellent jobs.

When I arrived to office environment, our to start with career was to end the financial bleeding, and it was the worst bleeding considering the fact that Roosevelt.

We handed the American Rescue Program.  That shipped shots in arms and checks in pockets, and furnished that excess respiratory room for doing the job family members.

It aided point out and metropolitan areas maintain necessary employees on the task, such as educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, sanitation personnel.

And thanks to the portion of the Rescue Program named for Ohio labor leader Butch Lewis, above a million retirees and workers across the place — (applause) — they can have faith in that the pensions they worked for and sacrificed to safe will be there for them.  (Applause.)

You know, and with the bipartisan agreement we have achieved to rebuild America’s infrastructure, we’re going to be placing hundreds of hundreds of individuals to work, including plumbers, pipefitters, electrical employees, steel personnel, so numerous other union workers — modernizing streets, bridges, drinking water devices, broadband units capping abandoned oil and gas wells that are leaking — about 100,000 of them — making the same salary as digging that perfectly.

It produces employment for American staff and makes our metropolitan areas and cities additional resilient and far better capable to fulfill the local weather crisis.

And to hold these jobs here at household, when your governing administration spends the taxpayer’s greenback, it is going to getting American merchandise built in The us, by American workers.  (Applause.)

Glance, more than the years, the Obtain The united states[n] Act became a hollow assure.  It is been there for a long time.  I’m heading to make it a truth.

The up coming quit — the subsequent halt is working with the capability to — to move the rest of my Establish Again Greater agenda — at the time-in-a-technology investments in our individuals, building housing much more very affordable bringing down the price tag of prescription medicine by supplying Medicare the electrical power to negotiate for decreased price ranges — and you should to thank Bernie Sanders for a great deal of this.  (Applause.)  Earning eldercare and childcare a lot more reasonably priced when increasing the spend for homecare workers and childcare personnel.  Offering paid family members and healthcare leave so that no employee is pressured to pick out involving their position and their caregiving responsibilities.  (Applause.)

You have all fought for all these issues.  We got to make them offered to every — present two yrs of no cost, university [universal], substantial-high quality pre-K, and high-excellent pre-K — two several years that are necessary.

It displays that if you deliver a child to faculty at age three, 4, and 5, they maximize by 56 percent the likelihood they’ll — no make a difference what the track record — that they’ll go via school all 12 many years and do perfectly.

And when I questioned — you know, in the Obama administration, I was requested to locate out from the CEOs of the Fortune 500 what they most desired, what they most desired, what was their finest issue.  And about — I imagine it was — really don’t keep me to the exact range — 348 or -47 I simply cannot recall the variety we got to — claimed the single-most crucial point is they necessary a greater-educated community. 

But guess what?  They weren’t having to pay for it.  (Laughter.)  And guess what?  Does anybody consider if we have been beginning off from scratch, location up public schooling, we’d say 12 many years was sufficient for the 21st century?

So, look, we have to invest in high-high-quality position coaching and apprenticeships in fast-expanding sectors contend to give middle-course households a effectively-deserved tax slash for daycare and healthcare and deliver a important month-to-month tax slash for doing work families with small children.  That’s what it is. 

Every person talks about my Baby Tax Credit history it is a tax reduce for everyday folks.  (Applause.)  That is what it is.

And as part of that, I want us to see us ultimately — lastly — give DREAMers, TPS recipients, farmworkers, crucial workers a pathway to citizenship, bringing them out of the shadows so they can obtain the protection and illustration that our legal guidelines and our unions present.  (Applause.)

Folks, we’re earning development.  Our economic system has included 750,000 positions a month on regular in the course of the earlier 3 months considering the fact that I’ve been here.  About — there are more than 4 million work since I took office.

In the very first 50 percent of this yr, our financial state grew fast — at a fastest price in 40 years.  Unemployment is down. 

My Establish Back again Superior investments are heading to make it possible for us to hold and progress and go even further in the years to arrive.

I just want to include one particular extra imagined in closing.

Though the pandemic has prevented me from traveling as a great deal as I’d like, I’ve experienced a chance to satisfy with several of your brothers and sisters and quite a few of you: the very pleased UAW users making vehicles and vans in Pennsylvania and Michigan, and noting that the mai- — the Massive A few have determined that, together with the assistance of these unions, they’re making — heading electrical, so we very own that sector. 

Steelworkers in Portsmouth, Virginia.  I have met with longshoremen and firefighters in Columbus.  AFSCME employees in Allentown.  IBEW employees and ironworkers and nurses and grocery keep employees in Cincinnati.  Plumbers and — and gasfitters in Maryland.  AFT lecturers in Virginia.

And — and, by the way, of system I snooze with an NEA member every single night time.  Very same 1.  (Laughter and applause.)  Exact same just one.

Jill had her very first working day of entire-time training yesterday, this yr.  She’s back again to college. 

And, search, I’ve talked with union transit workers, machinists, laborers, and welders in Wisconsin.  We’ve had Teamsters here in the White Home.  And normally — the Teamsters usually have my back again.  And, past week, I met with the very first responders in New Orleans.  And on Monday, I dropped by some of the IBEW linemen in Delaware aiding get better from Hurricane Ida. 

You know, and the — the past 12 months has taught us nearly anything, it is what is crucial.  And what is important is you.  Not a joke.  You and your union customers. 

Wall Street could go on strike, but if, all of a unexpected, the center of this cont- — this Ida, every IBEW member resigned, we’d be in actual issues.

I say that to make a generic level.  I feel we noticeably undervalue — and I imagine even you men sometimes undervalue — the incredible price you bring to the safety, safety, and progress of the economic system.  You know, you are America’s coronary heart and you are America’s soul. 

And we all will need to combat as difficult for them and do the job as tricky for them as we can. 

And I want to say, the press was very, pretty — not just the push — a whole lot of people ended up quite, really skeptical that when I was conversing about we had to offer with the ecosystem, that labor would by no means support. 

Properly, guess what?  Labor is the motive it is functioning.  Labor stepped up.  Since they — you all realize.  And I created a assure, and I’ll maintain it — that what we’re talking about listed here is: When you imagine of worldwide warming, you assume of careers —  work — all the work opportunities we’re heading to create — creating us, as soon as all over again, the swiftest-expanding — we are now — the most competitive economic climate in the planet.

So, people, you do it all.  I’m sorry to go on so long, but I just can’t — I can not thank you ample for all you’ve done for the country and what you have completed for me in excess of my job.  You’ve educated me.  You brought me together.  And you have — you’ve normally been there.

Now, I’m intended to quit and walk out of the space in this article.  (Laughter.)  I’m heading to halt.  But with your permission, I’m heading to wander into the space due to the fact I want to say hello to all of you. 

Thank you.  (Applause.) 

12:21 P.M. EDT