Biden picks up endorsement from firefighters union

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is endorsing Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden bemoans white supremacy in remarks at civil rights movement site Gun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate MORE's 2020 Democratic presidential bid after staying on the sidelines of the 2016 race.

"On behalf of the International Association of Fire Fighters, I'm proud to announce that we stand with Joe Biden and endorse his candidacy for president of the United States," Harold Schaitberger, the IAFF's general president, said in a video released early Monday.

"Joe's a lot like our firefighters. He's a problem solver who cares deeply about America and committed to making our country better. He's one of the staunchest advocates for working families," Schaitberger continued.

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"He knows that a strong middle class means a strong America, and we know as president, he will stand up for all the patriotic Americans who want nothing more than to earn a decent wage, send their kids to college, have affordable health care and a decent and secure retirement."

The IAFF is the first major labor group to endorse a candidate in the 2020 race.

Biden has emphasized his close ties to labor groups in the run-up to and the beginning of his campaign.

Since officially announcing his candidacy last week, the former vice president has picked up endorsements from a swath of lawmakers, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyEx-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Democrats press Trump Treasury picks on donor disclosure guidelines MORE Jr. (D-Pa.).