AFL-CIO backs Biden in early 2024 endorsement

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The nation’s top union organization, the AFL-CIO, endorsed President Biden’s reelection campaign on Friday, a major win for the president as he works to shore up support from big labor for his 2024 White House bid.

The endorsement comes ahead of Biden rallying with union members on Saturday in Philadelphia. It is the earliest the AFL-CIO’s general board has ever voted to endorse in a presidential election, according to the union.

More than a dozen unions joined with the AFL-CIO to announce their endorsements for Biden on Friday.

“There’s absolutely no question that Joe Biden is the most pro-union president in our lifetimes,” AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler said in a statement. “From bringing manufacturing jobs home to America to protecting our pensions and making historic investments in infrastructure, clean energy and education, we’ve never seen a president work so tirelessly to rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out.”

The AFL-CIO also endorsed Biden for president in 2020, but in May of that year — roughly a year later in the election cycle than this latest endorsement.

Biden is the clear favorite for the party’s 2024 nomination, though two Democrats have announced campaigns to challenge him: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson.

“With the early support from the labor movement, our campaign can tap into organized labor’s incomparable organizing abilities, which allows us to reach deep into communities and talk to voters about the tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs created by President Biden’s first-term agenda,” Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.

The president spoke at the 29th AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in June 2022 and has been joined at the White House various times throughout the year by representatives from the union.

“We’ve never seen a president more forcefully advocate for workers’ fundamental right to join a union. Now, it’s time to finish the job,” Shuler said.

During his appearance in Philadelphia on Saturday, Biden is expected to discuss his economic agenda, highlighting how he’s worked to lower the cost of prescription drugs and insurance as well as protect Social Security and Medicare, according to his campaign.

Other unions that threw their support behind Biden on the eve of the rally: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Teachers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Nurses United and the American Federation of Government Employees.

AFSCME, a union of public service workers, said job creation under the Biden administration, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure law and steps to cut prescription drug prices, all contributed to their decision to endorse him.

“Joe Biden is the most pro-worker president of our lifetime. He respects and protects working people – especially front-line public service workers – and the essential work they do,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said in a statement.

AFSCME, which is made up of 1.4 million workers, also endorsed Biden in 2020. They announced their endorsement in March of that year, making this cycle’s endorsement also early.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) endorsed Biden earlier this month, citing the infrastructure law as an accomplishment of the administration, giving LIUNA members more opportunities to build.

But, the president hasn’t had all good luck with unions this cycle. The United Auto Workers union in May said it would hold back from an endorsement, citing concerns over the White House’s focus on electric vehicles.

Updated: 12 p.m.

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