Biden wins endorsement of prominent union

Biden wins endorsement of prominent union
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidential endorsement of a top union group Wednesday as he seeks to boost his support among working class voters.

The leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced Wednesday that it unanimously decided to endorse Biden at its annual officers meeting.

The endorsement from the union, which represents 775,000 active and retired electrical workers across North America, comes as a boon for the former vice president just days after what may turn out to be a fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

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“Vice President BidenJoe BidenPelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Pressure grows to cut diplomatic red tape for Afghans left behind President Biden is making the world a more dangerous place MORE has been a longtime friend of working families and the IBEW,” said IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson. “Joe has a long record of standing up for union members, and we believe it’s in the best interest of IBEW members to elect him our next president.” 

Biden has put a premium on winning the support of labor groups for his campaign to bolster his argument that he is best situated to beat President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE in key Rust Belt states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The former vice president released a plan in October that would seek to incentivize unionization and collective bargaining and prevent employers from hindering workers’ organizing efforts. 

The IBEW said that while many other 2020 candidates back its mission to support workers’ rights, it is backing Biden because of his plan to balance tackling climate change while preserving labor jobs.

“Eighty-five percent of IBEW members work in the energy industry, and our country needs a realistic plan to combat the ongoing threat of climate change without putting energy security or working families at risk,” the group said.

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“It’s not typical for the IBEW to endorse this early in the primary process, but this year there’s an urgency we haven’t seen in a very long time. Energy policies made today will reverberate for decades, and it’s paramount that we have a candidate for president who supports IBEW jobs and IBEW values,” the statement continued.

Biden has also earned the support of several other labor groups, the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Amalgamated Transit Union and more.

The former vice president is working on rebuilding momentum for his campaign after what appears to be a lackluster finish in Iowa, though the state has yet to release results from all of its precincts.

The IBEW’s endorsement comes less than a week before the primary in New Hampshire, where polls show Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case In defense of share buybacks Progressives seething over Biden's migrant policies MORE (I-Vt.) with a strong lead.