For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

Joe Biden vows to ‘shift the balance of power to workers’ at AFSCME’s 44th International Convention

In remarks delivered to AFSCME membership around the country, Biden pledged to address the economic, health and racial injustice crises plaguing America. He stressed his support for expanding collective bargaining rights for public service workers and for funding state and local public services needed to beat the virus and safely reopen the economy

On Friday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden addressed thousands of AFSCME delegates during the union’s 44th International Convention. In pre-recorded remarks, Biden praised AFSCME’s front-line heroes who are essential to fighting COVID-19 and keeping our families safe and healthy.

“AFSCME workers are holding this country together right now as I speak,” said Biden.Keeping our hospitals safe and clean and effective, getting unemployment checks in the hands of people who have lost their jobs and are on the brink of losing everything. Whose work is often unseen but is always essential.”

Drawing a stark contrast with the president’s inept response to the virus and the gross indifference of Senate Republicans to public service workers risking their lives to defeat the virus, Biden also stressed the urgency of investing in our nation’s public services and immediately providing nearly $1 trillion in federal aid to our states, cities, towns and schools which are struggling financially as a result budget shortfalls caused by COVID-19.

Promising to lead the country out of the current economic, health and racial injustice crises, Biden said, “Together, we’re going to fund the front lines, get the protective equipment you need. We’re going to deliver state and local funding you need to do your jobs with the safety and dignity that you deserve. We’re going to shift the balance of power back to workers in this country. Guaranteeing public employment sector employees collective bargaining rights, passing the PRO Act. We’re going to meet the crisis of racial injustice with the same ambitious plan to instill racial equity in our nation’s history.”

Biden’s speech underscored his record as a champion for working people, the labor movement and public service workers, which earned him AFSCME’s endorsement in March. AFSCME President Lee Saunders stressed the importance of public service workers doing everything they can to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this November.

Saunders said, “The stakes could not be higher for working families this election. It is time to band together and organize like never before to elect Joe Biden the next president of the United States and to win for working people up and down the ballot. The health, safety and security of our country and communities depend on it. AFSCME members have been steadfast in the face of every challenge thrown our way over the past two years, and make no mistake, our union is going to fight like hell to win in November.”