President Biden touts the strength of unions, labor at Labor Day event in West Mifflin


Patrick Cavanagh | Senior Staff Photographer

President Joe Biden speaks at West Mifflin Monday afternoon for the Labor Day holiday.

By Punya Bhasin, News Editor

In front of a crowd of about 100 members of a local United Steelworkers union in West Mifflin, President Joe Biden complimented organized labor on Labor Day and called out “extreme MAGA Republicans” for putting democracy at stake.  

Biden was joined by U.S. Rep Mike Doyle, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and other prominent Pittsburgh labor leaders at the event, which served as an unofficial kickoff to the midterm elections. Biden spoke earlier on Monday in Milwaukee for another Labor Day celebration. 

Biden said he will push for a pro-labor agenda in both Congress and the Oval Office, and won’t let former president Donald Trump or other Republicans diminish these efforts. Biden thanked unions for their hard work in Pittsburgh, and said that as a member of a labor family, “hard-working” laborers deserve to be treated with dignity. 

“We have a choice,” Biden said. “Trump and the MAGA Republicans made their choice. We can work to have a better America or we can continue down this sliding path to oblivion where we don’t want to go.”

Biden said the current Republican party is too “extreme,” especially after the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He said the U.S. wouldn’t be a democracy if leaders don’t support the outcomes of elections or count all legitimate votes.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said. “I’ve worked with a lot of Republicans, conservative Republicans, and we still got things done, and there was always something decent about them.  This new group headed by the former president, former defeated president makes it clear the way MAGA Republicans are, they’re extreme and they’re putting democracy at stake.”

Doyle, whose district includes West Mifflin, praised congressional Democrats and Biden for passing the federal infrastructure bill, the Inflation Reduction Act as well as COVID-19 relief funding, saying Biden is the “most pro-labor President for the United States.”

“I have served under five presidents, and let me tell you something, there is no president that has accomplished this much in the first two years than Joe Biden,” Doyle said.

John Fetterman, who is running for U.S senate against Republican Mehmet Oz, said he would always support unions if elected. He said it was an “honor to be a friend and ally” for Biden.

“It’s real simple, send me to Washington D.C, and any choice in front of me that is between the union way or the anti-union way, every single time going with the union way,” Fetterman said.

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman speaks at West Mifflin Monday afternoon for the Labor Day holiday. (Patrick Cavanagh | Senior Staff Photographer)

Biden said he’ll travel to Pittsburgh again soon to see the rebuilt Fern Hollow Bridge, which collapsed in January. 

“We’re building roads and bridges and ports,” Biden said. “As a matter of fact, I’m going to be back here not too long from now because we got $60 million to rebuild that bridge that collapsed.”