Biden, Fetterman Show Solidarity With Pennsylvania Workers on Labor Day

President Joe Biden watches as Democratic Pa. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman takes the stage at a United Steelworkers of America Local Union 2227 event in West Mifflin, Pa., Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, to honor workers on Labor Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

By Patrick Berkery

September 6, 2022

Pennsylvania’s US Senate candidate appeared with President Biden near Pittsburgh and marched in Philadelphia’s Labor Day parade.

John Fetterman has repeatedly made his stance clear: he is on the side of labor.

The son of a union grocery store worker from Reading, who lives across the street from a union hall in Braddock, has pledged to push for a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour and support legislation aimed at making collective bargaining easier if he is elected to the US Senate.

With two months until Election Day, Fetterman spent Labor Day hammering that point home further by showing his solidarity with organized labor on both sides of the state.

Fetterman marched in Pittsburgh’s Labor Day parade alongside the United Steelworkers, and in Philadelphia’s Labor Day parade with members of UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers), the union his father belonged to.

Fetterman also published an op-ed in support of organized labor, in which he called out his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz for standing “with his filthy rich friends, who happen to run the companies ripping off working people.”

“He doesn’t think that our embarrassingly low minimum wage needs to be increased,” Fetterman wrote in the op-ed. “And he certainly wouldn’t want to dent the bonuses of his CEO pals and shareholder buddies.”

On Monday, President Biden spoke with Fetterman in West Mifflin near Pittsburgh. It was the president’s third Pennsylvania stop in less than a week, following speeches in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia, where he blasted the MAGA wing of the Republican party.

Speaking after Fetterman, Biden remembered Pittsburgh union leader Jack Shea and Pat Gilliespie, a longtime advocate for union construction workers in Philadelphia, both of whom passed away recently. The president also emphasized his working class roots in Scranton and Claymont, Del., and his long ties to Union leaders in Western Pennsylvania.

Speaking of Fetterman, Biden went back to a line he has used often about the hulking US Senate candidate: “If I have to be in a foxhole, I want John Fetterman in there with me.” 

Mary Kay Henry, president of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union, called Biden’s championing of unions heading into the midterm elections “critical” and said workers must “mobilize in battlegrounds across the country to ensure that working people turn out.”

“We’re really excited about the president speaking directly to workers about, if he had the opportunity, he’d join a union,” Henry said. She added: “This president has signaled which side he’s on. And he’s on the side of working people. And that matters hugely.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.


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