DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — Vice President Joe Biden addressed a crowd of spectators who congregated at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull for the 2014 Detroit Labor Day Parade on Monday.

When Biden took to the stage, he said American workers owe a debt of gratitude to union workers.

“You’re the reason why every other American worker has any of the basic rights they have,” Biden told the crowd. “It’s because of unions.”

Vice President Joe Biden told hundreds of Detroit-area union members that they deserve a “fair share” of any improvement in corporate profits.

Biden spoke Monday on the grounds of the former Tiger Stadium ahead of organized labor’s annual parade Monday. He stuck with populist themes, criticizing corporate pay and companies that leave the U. S. for lower taxes.

He says workers don’t want a handout. Biden says, “Just give them a chance.”

Biden was preceded on the stage by labor leaders and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and Gary Peters, the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate.

The annual event celebrates the achievements of Michigan’s working men and women and the state’s labor unions. The parade is to proceed down Michigan Avenue and then Woodward Avenue to Hart Plaza on the Detroit riverfront.

Biden last participated in Labor Day events in Michigan in 2012.

Metro Detroit AFL-CIO president Rick Blocker said that “Joe Biden is always welcome in Michigan” and that the Democratic vice president has “been a strong voice for working families.”

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