Biden notches another union endorsement as building trades back reelection

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 9:46 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden secured the backing of another union on Wednesday as the organization representing American construction workers lined up behind the Democratic incumbent and called Donald Trump a dangerous threat to the nation.

The head of the North America’s Building Trade Union, which will host Biden at its legislative conference in Washington later on Wednesday, in an ad said the Republican presidential nominee “was not a good man” and was only focused on returning to the White House “to exert revenge on people.”

“His dark side is very, very dark and very, very dangerous for this country,” said NABTU President Sean McGarvey, who said he has known Trump, a real estate developer who served in the White House from 2017-2021, for decades. “We can’t let our democracy that we’ve worked for and we’ve cherished just disintegrate with the wrong leader at the wrong time.”

McGarvey also cited what he characterized as Trump’s failure to fix workers’ pensions and inaction on long-promised infrastructure fixes as other factors in the group’s support for his Democratic rival, who signed a landmark 2021 infrastructure law and whose 2022 Inflation Reduction Act included billions of dollars in infrastructure spending.

Biden created “the biggest infrastructure boom this country has ever seen,” he told MSNBC in a separate interview, calling him “the most pro-union … pro-worker president that this country has ever seen… we see the results.”

Biden and Trump will face each other again in the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 5 in what looks set to be a divisive, closely fought contest.

Representatives for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest union to announce its endorsement.

In January, Biden secured the United Auto Workers union’s support. A number of other unions have not announced their choice in November’s contest, including the Teamsters and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Asked about members who are strident Trump supporters, NABTU’s McGarvey acknowledged they may not be persuadable.

“What matter is the 15% of people that are persuadable, that are open to hearing the facts and making up their own mind,” he told MSNBC. “A lot of our members are patriots and they do not like the way that this ex-president is talking about what he’s going to do if he’s elected to another term.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Nandita Bose)