AFL-CIO endorses Joe Biden for President
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, June 26, 2020
WASHINGTON — The general board of the national AFL-CIO voted May 26 to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.
The nation’s largest labor federation includes 55 unions which together represent 12.5 million members.
Prior to the national AFL-CIO’s endorsement, Biden had won endorsements from 13 of the AFL-CIO’s member unions, most recently the United Steelworkers May 20 and the Communications Workers of America May 22.
In announcing the endorsement, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka declared:
“Joe Biden is a lifelong supporter of workers and has fought his entire career for living wages, health care, retirement security and civil rights.”
“He is ready to fight with us to restore faith in America and improve the lives of all working people,” Trumka continued.
In a statement in response to the AFL-CIO endorsement, Biden said: “In the face of COVID-19 we’re seeing without any doubt how important unions are to this country — fighting for their workers to have personal protective equipment, for paid leave, and for safer workplaces.”
Biden added, “as we come out of this crisis, there is an incredible need and opportunity to create good-paying, union jobs across the country and ensure the United States owns the 21st Century.”
In August, the Democratic Party is expected to endorse Biden to run against President Donald Trump.
Biden served as Vice President during President Barack Obama’s two terms.
Biden’s long career in public service began with a 1970 win to local elected office in Delaware. Two years later, he defeated a Republican incumbent to win election to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat and was re-elected six times.
In the Senate, where he served from 1973-2009, Biden earned a lifetime AFL-CIO voting record of 86 percent.
“As a Senator and later as Vice President, Joe used his voice and his vote to advance the cause of working people,” Trumka said. “Just imagine what we can accomplish with an ally in the White House.”
As the 2020 presidential campaign continues, Trumka said, the labor movement will draw a clear contrast between Biden and President Trump.
When Trump campaigned as a friend of workers four years ago, “some working people, desperate for a rapid departure from business as usual, took a chance on Trump,” Trumka acknowledged. “Look, I get it.” But, Trumka continued, “over the past four years, the President showed his true colors.” He cited Trump moves to weaken workplace safety standards, reduce safety inspections and take overtime pay away from millions of workers.
“Worse yet, Donald Trump has used the highest office in the land to divide America, scapegoating immigrants, degrading women and playing on people’s worst fears,” Trumka declared.
“At every turn, he has actively undermined collective bargaining and the freedom to form a union,” Trumka added.
Trump’s track record on the coronavirus, Trumka said, “has been delinquent, delayed, disorganized and deadly.”
“The path to the presidency runs through the labor movement,” Trumka said. “We are ready to pave that road for our friend, Joe Biden.”
Joe Biden campaign website: joebiden.com
This story includes reporting by Press Associates International.