UNITED STATES: US President Joe Biden will speak to union members in Philadelphia for his first political event since announcing his re-election bid. The AFL-CIO, a coalition of 60 unions, backed Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday, marking the earliest support the organization has received in a presidential election.
The US President’s frequent attendance at union functions, including a Washington conference, highlighted the importance of the labour movement for his second term. He has supported collective bargaining, overturned Trump-era regulations, reversed union membership decline, and made it easier for union labour to build bridges and ports.
Labour leaders have hailed him as the most pro-union president in history. In 2020, white working-class union voters had mixed opinions, but some union leaders claim this has changed.
Local officials struggled to decide between Donald Trump or Joe Biden, leading construction trades unions to not endorse any candidate in 2020. The influential Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, led by Ryan Boyer, claims members no longer have doubts about voting in 2024 due to Biden’s presidency record.
The electorate in Philadelphia has changed significantly, with labour leaders acknowledging President Biden’s support for unions for men and women. Union supporters helped the US President win crucial states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the 2020 election. Labour is expected to play a significant role in the Democratic Party’s grassroots efforts for the 2024 presidential election.
In 2020, Biden won 57% of union households, compared to Trump’s 40%, as per Edison Research. However, he faced criticism for approving legislation preventing a national rail strike and the United Auto Workers’ decision to make the US dependent on electric vehicles.
Biden’s infrastructure, healthcare, and climate bills, which created millions of jobs without a college degree, are expected to help win over holdouts, according to Seth Harris, who previously served as Biden’s top labor policy adviser at the White House.
The US President will likely make his case before union audiences in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, and other states in the coming months.