At the AFL-CIO convention on Tuesday, President Joe Biden thanked labor officials for their help in getting him elected in 2020, even as he defended his record on inflation, which has squeezed middle-income and working-class families.
“You’re a gigantic reason why I’m standing here today as your president,” Biden told the crowd of union leaders. “I owe you from the very beginning of running for office.”
Labor is one of the country’s largest special interests, spending more than $1.8 billion during the 2020 election, mostly to boost Democrats.
In his wide-ranging speech, Biden also called on Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, currently stalled in the Senate. The bill is the highest priority of labor leaders, who had hoped Democratic power in Washington would translate into the bill’s passage. The legislation would dismantle Right to Work laws in states across the country and would get rid of secret ballot union elections.
In her introduction of President Biden, newly elected AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler repeatedly called him the “most pro-union president in the history of the United States.” She lauded his White House task force on labor, and his appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, which has taken a pro-union activist turn since Biden came into office.
“Your work at getting out the vote in 2020 made all of that possible,” she told attendees.