Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life.

This Labor Day, America’s working families are facing unprecedented challenges.

Americans should vote on Nov. 3 because our lives are literally depending on it.

Donald Trump’s every move has taken money out of our pockets and put it into the pockets of big corporations.

He gave a tax windfall—the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—to billionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

This election year, America faces interlocking crises—a global health crisis, economic collapse, and systemic racism. Even as we live in fear of disease and economic ruin, we have had to watch the on-camera murders of unarmed Black people by officers who have sworn to protect and serve us. So many of us have stood outside nursing homes and hospitals as our loved ones died inside, alone. In response, we are struggling with despair and asking, Dare we hope for profound change in our public life?

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is courting union members with what California Labor Federation spokesman Steve Smith described as “the strongest platform to support workers since FDR.” Biden wants to end “right to work,” allowing unions to collect fees from everyone they represent even if a worker does not choose to join. He wants to hold company executives liable if they interfere with workers’ efforts to unionize, and he wants to allow workers to form a union without holding an election if they gather signatures from a majority of them.

Speaking from the Pennsylvania A.F.L.-C.I.O. headquarters in Harrisburg, Joseph R. Biden Jr. told union members he would be “the strongest labor president you have ever had” and gave a blistering condemnation of President Trump, calling him “downright un-American” for reportedly describing fallen service members as “losers” and “suckers.”

A lack of poll workers can lead to a lack of available polling places ― and voter disenfranchisement. Given that the pandemic has made door-knocking infeasible in so many areas, labor groups are diverting some of that energy and resources to the poll worker cause. “With COVID, door-to-door has gone by the wayside. So this is how we show up for the moment,” said Michael Podhorzer, who leads political strategy at the AFL-CIO labor federation, which includes 55 unions. “It’s a million-person workforce that kind of has to be replaced.

Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, on Thursday morning accused President Trump of breaking his promises to bring more manufacturing and infrastructure jobs to working Americans.

They were some of Mr. Trumka’s strongest comments to date — and a recognition that even labor leaders who were willing to give Mr. Trump a chance four years ago are no longer open to finding common ground.

Streaming from Milwaukee, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez touched on the recent appointment of Republican megadonor and Trump loyalist Louis DeJoy as postmaster general and the president’s other tactics against the Postal Service in Monday’s council meeting, calling out “a postmaster general who has no business being there” and “a president who knows he can’t win on the up and up, so he knows he has to cheat.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka delivered the following remarks at the 2020 Democratic National Convention Labor Council Meeting:

I want to thank my longtime friend, Brother Stuart [Appelbaum], for that introduction. And I want to thank Chairman [Tom] Perez, for his great leadership.