President Biden meets with Teamsters to gain labor union support.

Washington — On Tuesday, President Joe Biden reminded the strong International Brotherhood of Teamsters of his union record as Republican competitor Donald Trump tries to win back blue-collar workers who helped him win 2016.

Biden spoke with the Teamsters at their headquarters and stressed the administration's support for unions and labor. Teamsters General President Sean O'Brien said after the meeting that Biden has been “great” for workers but that “there’s still a lot of work to be done” to strengthen unions.

“There's always a threat to organized labor, so we want to be proactive and make sure every candidate — not just President Biden — understands how important our issues are,” O'Brien told reporters after meeting with the president.

Biden and the Teamsters discussed the Butch Lewis Act, Social Security, and Medicare, and the president pledged 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,” campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt said.

Nearly six weeks after Trump met with Teamsters to win their support, Biden met privately. After that meeting, Trump boasted that many union voters have endorsed him and said, “Stranger things have happened.” Trump and Biden each reached the delegate majority needed at the midsummer national conventions to win their parties' presidential nominations Tuesday night.

The former Republican president is trying to win over union workers who have generally supported Democratic candidates this year. After winning some blue-collar workers in 2016, Trump is seeking to exploit a split between union leaders who support Democrats and rank-and-file members who may vote Republican.

The 56% of union members and households supported Biden in 2020. The AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees all endorsed Biden, who claims to be the most pro-union president ever.

Hitt said the Biden-Harris campaign is proud of its AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, UAW, and other union support. “We hope to earn the Teamsters' support.” Biden and Trump have fought over more than Teamsters support. First president in history to join a picket line, the Democratic president joined striking autoworkers in Michigan last September.

The UAW later endorsed Biden, even as Trump visited Michigan to attack the president's push for more electric automobiles, one of the union's main concerns during their strike. Trump visited a non-unionized auto parts plant in Michigan.

Teamsters represents 1.3 million workers. It backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020, but O'Brien says the union is open to endorsements this season. She said the group usually waits until after both parties' summer nominating conventions to endorse and will “most likely” do so again this year after polling its members, soliciting rank-and-file comments, and reconvening its leadership team.

The union represents UPS drivers, film and TV personnel, freight operators, police enforcement, and other government professionals. “The Teamsters union is good at one thing: mobilizing our members, especially when a decision and/or battle needs to be had,” O'Brien said. “We have proven how valuable and engaged—more importantly—our members are.

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