AFL-CIO endorses Joe Biden for president


Missouri AFL-CIO, 19 unions and locals say Biden’s record shows commitment to working families


FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, visited Kiener Plaza in St. Louis March 7 during a rally to drum up support ahead of the March 10 Missouri presidential primary. Biden won the contest with 60 percent of the vote. – Labor Tribune photo

The AFL-CIO is endorsing Joe Biden for president.

The AFL-CIO is the largest federation of labor unions in the country, representing 55 unions and 12.5 million members. The endorsement is no surprise, but support from the AFL-CIO is crucial for Biden as he competes with Trump for the support of working-class voters in November.

“Joe Biden is a lifelong supporter of workers and has fought his entire career for living wages, health care, retirement security and civil rights,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. “Our members know Joe has done everything he could to create a fairer process for forming and joining a union, and he is ready to fight with us to restore faith in America and improve the lives of all working people.

“Working people have responded to COVID-19 with passion and dedication, even as our federal government falls down on the job,” Trumka said. “Just imagine what we can accomplish with an ally in the White House.”

Trumka said the AFL-CIO plans on “playing hard” in battleground states, urging its members to vote by mail, and to vote for Biden.

“I’m running to be the best president for workers in American history,” Biden said in a statement. “As we come out of this crisis, there is an incredible need and opportunity to create good-paying, union jobs across the country.”

The Missouri AFL-CIO joined the national AFL-CIO in its endorsement, calling Biden a champion for working families.

“Joe Biden has long been an advocate for working families,” said Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis. “Vice President Biden has never lied to us. He has always fought for us. There is no doubt that Joe Biden will have our backs. The current administration has attacked working families in favor of his corporate buddies. Joe Biden will bring the steady leadership we need.”

Missouri AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and President-elect Jake Hummel said a Biden ticket will help the effort to elect worker-friendly candidates in Missouri.

“Vice President Biden has worked with Organized Labor for decades,” Hummel said. “Joe Biden will help the entire Missouri ticket and will help us take back our state for working families. We need a leader that understands what it is like to work hard for everything you have earned.”

Biden also has been endorsed by:

  • Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
  • American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  • Cement Masons
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association (United Farm Workers)
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
  • International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
  • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IW)
  • International Association of Machinists (IAM)
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union Locals 13, 63 and 94
  • International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA)
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • Scranton Federation of Teachers
  • Service Employees International United National Association of Government Employees
  • United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW)
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776
  • United Steelworkers (USW)

“Our Executive Board did not make this decision lightly,” said CWA District 6 Administrator Derrick Osobase. “We need to elect a president that stands with working people.” To help make its decision, CWA asked candidates to complete a presidential questionnaire and  submit a short video about their plans to help working people in their first 100 days.

In his questionnaire, Biden stated:

“Strong unions built the great American middle class. Everything that defines what it means to live a good life and know you can take care of your family – the 40-hour work week, paid leave, health care protections, a voice in your workplace – is because of workers who organized unions and fought for worker protections.”

Trump didn’t respond to CWA’s request to answer a questionnaire.

In 2016, Trump promoted himself as a champion of workers, promising to rip up international trade agreements and close America’s borders. Instead, Trump has waged a war on workers, attacking federal workers’ unions in particular, stacking the National Labor Relations Board with anti-union appointees and giving companies a 50 percent tax break on foreign profits.



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