Former VP also endorsed by Fire Fighters; Sanders picks up National Nurses United, state branches of SEIU, UPTE
By TIM ROWDEN
Washington – The International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary for president.
In a statement announcing its decision, the 130,000-member Iron Workers union said it believed a Biden administration would “invest heavily in transportation infrastructure and manufacturing across the country.”
It also pointed to Biden’s commitment to workers’ rights, ending so-called “right-to-work” laws and defending union Registered Apprenticeship Programs against the Trump administration’s continued threats to impose Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs on the construction industry.
Biden announced a $1.3 trillion plan in November to invest in electric car-charging stations, high-speed railroads, clean energy research and other infrastructure.
“Vice President Biden has proven again and again that he is a friend to union ironworkers,” said Iron Workers General President Eric Dean. “We need a president who will defend rights and jobs of American workers, and Joe Biden will be that president.”
Biden received the endorsement of the 300,000-member International Association of Firefighters last year.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), also seeking the Democratic nomination, was endorsed in November by the more than 150,000-member National Nurses United, citing his support for rebuilding America’s Labor Movement to restore workers’ rights and his leadership on Medicare for All.
Sanders also received endorsements this month from two key state organizations – the New Hampshire branch of the Service Employees International Union and the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union in California.
Republican President Donald Trump performed better in exit polls with rank-and-file union members in the 2016 election but has since criticized what he calls “dues sucking” unions and expressed his complete support for “right-to-work” laws.
Trump made infrastructure a priority during his first year in office, but he has little to show for it. Trump and Democratic leaders agreed on a $2 trillion infrastructure package last April but have yet to agree on how to pay for it.