President Joe Biden meets with the Teamsters as he tries to shore up his support among labor unions

Last updated: March 13, 2024, 00:30 IST

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday received the endorsement of the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters, reminding its leaders and members of his record on unions, as presumptive Republican challenger Donald Trump tries to make gains among blue-collar workers, who have Helped extend his 2016 victory.

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden on Tuesday secured the endorsement of the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters, reminding its leaders and members of his record on unions, as Republican challenger Donald Trump tries to make gains among blue-collar workers. Who helped him carry forward his 2016 victory. ,

Biden met with the Teamsters at their headquarters and emphasized the administration’s support of unions and his longtime support for the labor movement. Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said after the meeting that Biden has been “great” for workers, but emphasized that “there is still a lot of work to be done” to strengthen unions.

“There’s always a threat to organized labor, so we want to be proactive and make sure that every candidate — not just President Biden — understands how important our issues are,” O’Brien told reporters after meeting with the president. Are.”

Biden and the Teamsters discussed topics such as the Butch Lewis Act — a measure now signed into law that boosted pensions for many workers — Social Security and Medicare, while the president vowed to “hold corporations accountable, because Every worker deserves respect, and billionaire executives should not pay a lower tax rate than truck drivers or warehouse workers,” said Biden campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt.

Biden met privately with the Teamsters, about six weeks after Trump sat down with them to drum up their support. Coming out of that meeting, Trump claimed that a significant group of union voters supported him and said of a potential Teamsters endorsement: “Stranger things have happened.”

The president wants to use the power and reach of workers to strengthen his campaign efforts this year, as Trump tries to make inroads with union workers who have traditionally supported Democratic candidates. The former Republican president alienated some blue-collar workers in his 2016 victory and is looking to exploit the divide between union leaders who have supported Democratic candidates and rank-and-file members who have been encouraged to vote Republican. Can be motivated to.

Union members tend to vote Democratic, with 56% of members and families supporting Biden in 2020, according to AP VoteCast. Biden, who regularly promotes himself as the most pro-union president in history, drew endorsements from major labor groups such as the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Is.

“The Biden-Harris campaign is proud to have the endorsement of the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, UAW, and many other unions,” Hitt said. “We hope to have the support of the Teamsters as well.”

It’s not just the Teamsters’ support that Biden and Trump have fought over. The Democratic president traveled to Michigan last September and joined striking autoworkers, becoming the first president in modern history to join an active picket line.

The United Auto Workers later formally endorsed Biden, even as Trump made his own trips to Michigan to criticize the president’s push for more electric vehicles — which was the union’s flagship during their strike. That was one of the concerns. However, Trump did make an appearance at a non-union auto parts plant in Michigan.

The Teamsters union represents 1.3 million workers. It endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020, though O’Brien has stressed that the union is keeping an open mind on an endorsement this cycle. The group typically waits until after both parties’ summer nominating conventions to make formal endorsements, and will “likely” do so again this year, when it will elect its members, solicit rank-and-file input, and Will reconvene his leadership team, O’Brien said.

The union’s membership includes UPS drivers, film and television employees, freight operators, members of law enforcement, and other government employees.

“The Teamsters union is good at one thing: organizing our members, especially when a decision and/or fight is required,” O’Brien said. “We’ve proven that our members. How valuable and how engaged – more importantly – they are.”

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – The Associated Press)