Biden Cancels Speech At NEA Conference, Makes Excuse About Picket Lines

President Joe Biden has canceled his planned speech at the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual conference in Philadelphia due to a union strike, making the excuse that it was to avoid crossing a picket line — and not to avoid showcasing his apparent cognitive issues. The NEA, which has endorsed Biden for re-election, announced a strike, prompting the president to adjust his schedule for the weekend.

The Biden campaign emphasized his unwavering support for unions in a statement. “President Biden is a fierce supporter of unions and he won’t cross a picket line. The President is still planning to travel to Pennsylvania this weekend, and we will have more details to share at a later point.”

The last three days of the NEA conference were canceled as picket lines were established on Friday. NEASO President Robin McLean criticized the NEA’s decision to consider holding the convention virtually to avoid the strike. “For a union to trick its members into crossing a picket line is reprehensible,” McLean stated. “It also confirms what we have been saying: NEA has abandoned its union values with its actions at the bargaining table.”

McLean added, “NEA would rather cancel a multi-million-dollar convention than comply with labor law. NEA members should question where their hard-earned dues dollars are being used — and wasted.”

The Associated Press reported that the NEA’s union, the National Education Association Staff Organization (NEASO), set up picket lines around the Pennsylvania Convention Center and planned a three-day strike. The union filed two unfair labor practice complaints, accusing the NEA of removing holiday overtime pay unilaterally and failing to provide information on outsourcing $50 million in contracts.

An NEA spokesperson responded, “It is deeply concerning that misinformation has been shared related to our contract negotiations. This not only misrepresents the facts but also undermines the integrity of our ongoing efforts to honor a fair bargaining process. We have crafted in good faith a proposal for our NEASO staff to address their expressed interests while ensuring the longer-term health of our organization and the needs of our members.

We will respect our staff’s picket lines. In the end, we are confident there will be an agreement that ensures we continue to serve our mission and support our members.”

Despite the cancellation, Biden’s campaign confirmed that the president will still travel to Pennsylvania over the weekend. This incident highlights Biden’s commitment to union solidarity, even when it disrupts significant events like the NEA conference.

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