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article imageVP Joe Biden marches in Labor Day Parade in Pittsburgh Special

By Stephen Pope     Sep 7, 2015 in Politics
Pittsburgh - A pro-labor speech this morning by Vice President Joe Biden, given in front of hundreds of supporters, kicked off one of the largest Labor Day parades Pittsburgh has seen in several years.
In a scheduled appearance today, Biden gave a passionate speech, while wearing a baseball cap with the United Steelworkers logo to a crowd of hundreds of union and pro-union workers, encouraging them to keep fighting for fair treatment, fair contracts and better benefits. Biden also criticized special interest groups and the current tax code which he said favors the wealthy, and isn't fair to the middle class.
Members of the Allegheny Council of the AFL-CIO lead the front of the Pittsburgh Labor Day parade  w...
Members of the Allegheny Council of the AFL-CIO lead the front of the Pittsburgh Labor Day parade, which featured an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden. Steve Pope/Digital Journal
Saying he was "mad" and "angry" over the highly disproportionate and unfair taxation of blue collar workers as compared to wealthy CEO's, Biden received a huge cheer and round of applause after saying, "Why in God's name should a man or woman working in a steel mill making $50,000 pay a higher rate than someone that makes tens of millions of dollars a year on Wall Street?"
The vice president who is from Scranton, Pennsylvania said he felt good to be back in the state and among hard-working steel workers and other union workers.
Biden's speech comes just days after steel workers waged a large protest through Downtown Pittsburgh seeking an end to the almost three month lockout of union workers at the Allegheny Technologies, Inc. steel mill.
Despite Biden being 72 years old, he walked the full length of the parade route, almost a mile, which ended at the United Steelworkers Building, where after a short lunch, he gave a thirty minute speech to steelworkers and their families.
While marching in today's parade Biden was seen stopping and greeting the hundreds of supporters who would frequently yell "Biden for President," to which Biden just smiled and waved. Through several city streets Biden would jog from one side of the street to the other, stopping to shake hands and take an occasional selfie with parade watchers.
Vice President Joe Biden stops to greet a supporter while he walked the entire route of Pittsburgh s...
Vice President Joe Biden stops to greet a supporter while he walked the entire route of Pittsburgh's Labor Day parade. Steve Pope/Digital Journal
Saying Biden "gave a great speech," Jim Tarbay from Houtzvale, Pennsylvania, whose brother is a union worker added, "He really got the crowd motivated, and gave everyone the spirit to organize."
Ashley Yingling sits and watches the Pittsburgh Labor Day parade along with her two-year-old dog  Ed...
Ashley Yingling sits and watches the Pittsburgh Labor Day parade along with her two-year-old dog "Eddie." Steve Pope/Digital Journal
Perhaps it is what the vice president didn't say that is making some people wonder whether or not he will be a viable candidate to oppose the already struggling Hillary Clinton. It was widely speculated that Biden was going to use his appearance in Pittsburgh to announce his candidacy for president.
Vice President Joe Biden took over an hour today to walk the entire length of the Labor Day parade i...
Vice President Joe Biden took over an hour today to walk the entire length of the Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh greeting parade watchers and supporters. Steve Pope/Digital Journal
During the private meeting after the parade cheers could be heard such as "Biden for President," and "Run Joe run." In response, Biden said smiling,"Wait a minute, I'm going to have to talk to my wife about that first."
The parade which drew thousands from Pittsburgh and surrounding communities lasted several hours, and featured appearances by several state legislators, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
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