USA leadership of the worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters voted this week to withhold an endorsement of Democratic presidential nomination front-runner Hillary Clinton and any other candidate in 2016, a big blow to Democrats who have counted on union support in national elections since the 1990s.
Making such an early endorsement “does not allow members to be active participants in the kinds of discussion and debate that are central to a democratic union”, Massachusetts Teachers Association president Barbara Madeloni wrote on the union’s website.
Also, the union wants to wait and see whether Vice President Joe Biden enters the race, and they want to talk to Republican candidates as well, especially frontrunner Donald Trump, who has worked with unionized workers throughout his career, Rosen said.
Last month, the National Nurses Union chose to endorse Sen. In addition to meeting with the candidates, the union plans to survey its leaders and membership as well. Similarly, Gov. Chris Christie has waged a battle with unions in New Jersey over the state’s pension system.
“It’s long past time for Republicans and Democrats to put aside their differences and work together for the good of our country”, Jim Hoffa, the Teamsters Union president, said in a statement released Wednesday.
Though Trump is largely funding his own campaign and isn’t relying on corporate donors, his support for “America’s working families” and unions is more questionable. That’s what makes the union’s desire to meet with Trump perplexing.
Fox News first reported the news of the decision. But a Clinton endorsement would seem more likely from major unions given her support for organized labor.
The vote was reportedly “an intentional snub” of Clinton in response to her voicing opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which she previously supported, notes Breitbart.