May 22, 2024

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden met with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., in an effort to court an endorsement from the influential labor union. Biden claims he is “the most pro-labor president in U.S. history” and has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union for his 2024 reelection bid. 

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In the meeting, the topics discussed included the Butch Lewis Act signed into law by Biden, which shored up pensions, as well as Social Security and Medicare. Biden made assurances of his union support and touted his billionaire tax proposal. Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt said that in the meeting, he vowed to:

Hold corporations accountable, because every worker deserves respect, and billionaire executives shouldn’t pay a lower tax rate than truck drivers or warehouse workers.

Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said after the meeting that Biden has been “great” for workers but stressed that “there’s still a lot of work to be done” to bolster unions. O’Brien pressured Biden about the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), a wide-ranging piece of pro-union legislation… supported by socialists… that has died repeatedly in Congress. 

Biden promoted the PRO Act in his State of the Union Speech on Thursday, saying:

I’m so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing. Pass the PRO Act because workers have a right to form a union.


Related:

Don’t Let Democrats Fool You. The PRO Act Will Strip You of Rights, Hand You Over to the Unions, and Destroy Our Economy

Federal Judge Slaps Down NLRB Rule on Employers, Contractors That Was Sneaky Workaround of Failed PRO Act

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O’Brien mentioned that Biden expressed general support for the union’s positions, but he remained skeptical about the specifics, saying: 

Just like every other candidate that’s come in here, they all said they were going to support unions, support our issues. But he was focused on what he’d done over the past four years of his administration.

O’Brien told reporters after meeting with the president:

There’s always a threat to organized labor, so we want to be proactive and make certain every candidate, not just President Biden, understands how important our issues are.

Biden’s meeting comes six weeks after former President Donald Trump held private talks with O’Brien at Mar-a-Lago and a roundtable event at union headquarters, emerging optimistic about the Teamsters’ support. Speaking of a potential endorsement, Trump said:

I think we had a very productive meeting. Stranger things have happened. 

Teamsters, boasting 1.3 million members, have never previously endorsed Trump, supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. Trump remained hopeful, noting that he has the support of rank-and-file blue collar workers that led him to victory in 2016. Trump said: 

Usually, a Republican wouldn’t get that endorsement. For many, many years they only do Democrats but in my case, it’s different because I’ve employed thousands of Teamsters.

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On the same day former President Donald Trump met with Teamsters’ leadership for the second time in January, the union made a donation of $45,000, the maximum permitted from its political action committee, to the Republican National Committee. This signals a shift in union support, once regarded as a solid voting bloc for the Democrat Party.  


Read More:

One of the Biggest Unions in the Country Just Made a $45,000 Donation to the RNC


While the Biden campaign touts its many union endorsements and courts the Teamsters, O’Brien has emphasized that the union remains open-minded regarding endorsements for this election cycle. 

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