Biden once again touts unions in State of the Union


It will either be the final State of the Union address of his first term or his final State of the Union address period, but on March 7, Joe Biden once again used the widely watched speech as a pulpit to promote labor unions.

“Wall Street didn’t build America,” Biden said. “They’re not bad guys. They didn’t build it though. The middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class.”

Biden’s guests this year included union members from Carpenters Local 432 in Pittsburgh, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 75 in Milwaukee, and a Minnesota teachers union. But his guest of honor was United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain, who Biden praised as a great friend and a great labor leader. 

“I was proud to be the first president to stand in a picket line,” Biden said, referring to his appearance at a union picket line during the 2023 UAW strike that won dramatic improvements for autoworkers at GM, Ford, and Stellantis.

Over the course of the 67-minute speech, Biden also called for passage of the PRO Act to make it easier for workers to unionize, an increase in the federal minimum wage, an increase in the corporate minimum tax, and an end to billionaires paying a lower tax rate than teachers, sanitation workers, or nurses.


President Biden has now promoted labor unions in all four of his State of the Union addresses, sometimes multiple times, and named IBEW, Ironworkers, and others. Some highlights:

  • 2021: “The middle class built the country, and unions built the middle class.”
  • 2022: “When a majority of workers want to form a union, they shouldn’t be able to be stopped.”
  • 2023: “I’m so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing. Pass the PRO Act because workers have a right to form a union. And let’s guarantee all workers a living wage.”
  • 2024: “Pass the PRO Act for workers rights! Raise the federal minimum wage, because every worker has a right to a decent living.”


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