August 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Biden to speak in Detroit on Labor Day

Vice President Biden was in Detroit in July to tour a training program in Detroit with Mayor Mike Duggan and hold a fundraiser for Michigan Democrats. (Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)

Vice President Joe Biden will be in Detroit on Labor Day, taking part for the second time in three years in the annual holiday that marks the role of workers in the Motor City.

Biden will make his 15th trip to Michigan since taking office. It’s his third trip to Detroit this year, including a two-day outing in January. Biden’s office confirmed the visit but declined to offer details. Biden last took part in Labor Day events in Michigan in 2012.

The event typically draws prominent state Democrats and has often served as an unofficial kickoff for political campaigns in Michigan. Biden has been a forceful advocate for organized labor in the administration and taped a message for retiring United Auto Workers President Bob King in June.

Biden will again make the case for Democrats in the state and meet with local labor leaders.

"These guys on the right — they know without you there — they call every shot," Biden told more than 1,000 UAW members and retirees in February in Washington. "You guys are the only guys keeping the barbarians at the gate."

Biden was in Detroit in July to tour a training program in Detroit with Mayor Mike Duggan and hold a fundraiser for Michigan Democrats.

Biden also appeared at a July event for the Michigan Democratic Coordinated Campaign Committee at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit. He also visited the Step IT Up America program at Wayne County Community College District with Duggan before he spoke to Netroots Nation, a gathering of thousands of liberal activists.

In 2012, Biden repeated the presidential campaign’s unofficial theme in his Detroit remarks: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

"Folks, you are the reason why the automotive industry is back," Biden said at the time. "Plant closures, wage freezes ... elimination of dental and vision. ...Your sacrifices keep these companies open. ...We know who built this country. Organized labor is the reason America is coming back."

He has criticized right-to-work laws approved in Michigan and Indiana. "Did you ever think you would see a day when right to work would pass in Michigan?" Biden said. "It's not a right to work."

Biden may run for president in 2016. President Barack Obama last visited Detroit in early 2012; he had lunch with Duggan during a visit to East Lansing in February.

Obama spoke to the Labor Day gathering in Detroit in 2011.

dshepardson@detroitnews.com