PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — President Joe Biden will be spending part of Labor Day in Pittsburgh, but it’s not yet clear exactly what he will be doing here.
As a native of Pennsylvania, Joe Biden sometimes just can’t seem to get enough of the state. On Tuesday he spoke on crime at Wilkes-Barre; on Thursday it was Philadelphia to talk about democracy; On Monday it will be Pittsburgh to celebrate American workers.
“He will be in Pittsburgh on Labor Day to celebrate America’s workers and really speak to America’s workers about the importance they have to our communities. Three times a week. You’re in luck here,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Chris Meagher told KDKA-TV’s Political Editor Jon Delano.
Biden is no stranger to the Pittsburgh Labor Day parade, having attended the parade several times over the years. But now he’s president and security concerns make marching problematic. So he’ll start the day at Laborfest in Milwaukee.
Meagher said the President won’t be here for the Labor Day parade in the morning but will be here in the afternoon.
“He’s on his way to Milwaukee to do some Labor Day events up there, and then he’s going to Pittsburgh. I know you will be hearing from the President. He plans to make some remarks in Pittsburgh, but we’re still figuring out what that looks like,” Meagher said.
“The fact that he voted for Pittsburgh on Labor Day is something we are very proud of, especially for a president who has lived and breathed the word union and the union way,” said Darrin Kelly, president of the Allegheny-Fayette Labor Council.
Tom Conway, international president of the United Steelworkers Union, says the president’s current itinerary includes his Pittsburgh organization.
“The President is coming to a Steelworkers picnic. So we’ll have some time with him. He’ll be arriving after the parade, so we’re taking a few more precautions,” says Conway.
Conway says the time and place will be announced by the White House and the event will not be open to the public like a parade. But it will give the president the opportunity to mingle with about 250 labor representatives.
Why Pittsburgh on Labor Day?
“It’s a testament to our area’s working families and our work history and commitment,” says Kelly.
And then there’s the politics of every presidential visit.
“This state is critical to what happens in November and in 2024. In Pennsylvania, there are some really important races on the ballot for Senate and governorship,” notes Conway.
According to Conway, public perception of the importance of unions in protecting all workers is changing.
“Gallup released a poll last week showing that 71 percent of the nation is positive about unions and that change is afoot,” Conway said.
The President could tap into this with a message to workers in that region.
“Rest assured that you will hear from the President a message of support for Pittsburgh workers, workers across the country and the important jobs they have,” Meagher said.
Again, there’s still no confirmation of the President’s exact plans for Monday, including where or when that union picnic might take place, or other events on his schedule.