IBEW Endorses Biden

Key union support includes almost a million electrical workers

It’s still early, but Joe Biden could be feeling the pressure. Near-complete results of the Iowa caucuses—traditionally the Opening Day of general election polls—had Biden at under 16% Thursday, trailing Pete Buttigeig, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination. It comes as less of a surprise, then, that the longtime Delaware senator pulled out an early salvo on Wednesday to bolster support.

The leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, while attending its annual officers meeting, has unanimously endorsed Vice President Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States, it announced in a press release Wednesday. A possible key factor for this could be the candidate’s support for oil and gas extraction; his refusal to support a fracking ban.

The IBEW represents 775,000 active and retired electrical workers across North America. This represents a crucial group of voters that current President Donald Trump will be fighting for come summer and early fall—if Biden can make it to that point. The IBEW does not have to stick with Biden for the entire course of the general election, either, as their endorsement only stands for the current Democratic nominee. Once that party is narrowed down to a single nominee (even if that person is Biden) the IBEW could still ultimately support Trump. Nonetheless, they’re playing politics, too…for now:

“Vice President Biden has been a longtime friend of working families and the IBEW,” said IBEW International President Lonnie R. 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.”

It should be noted that polling numbers at this stage are highly volatile. There are still debates to come, which can swing voter alliances drastically; there is also still about a month until “Super Tuesday”, when fourteen state primaries take place in a day often seen as a separation point. Beyond that, there is feasibly still four months of solid campaigning for Biden to do until the primaries conclude June 2.

“Each of the Democratic frontrunners stands solidly with the IBEW on issues of workers’ rights, including the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would provide millions of workers across the country with additional protections to organize and collectively bargain, and we thank each of them for their commitment to working families.

“But what makes Joe Biden different isn’t just his support for our rights on the job, but his support for good energy jobs,” the press release continued. “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.”

Despite his lackluster numbers for the opening round, poll aggregator RealClearPolitics—which combines major polls from across the country such as the Wall Street Journal/NBC, Emerson, and CNN numbers—currently has Biden atop the National Democratic standings at 27.0. Bernie Sanders is second in this poll at 21.0. Again, these projections hold minimal weight at such an early stage. Nonetheless, IBEW’s endorsement of Biden is influential. If nothing else, that’s close to a million votes that likely won’t go to Trump.

The rest of the IBEW statement is as follows:

“Joe Biden has listened to IBEW members, and his energy policy has been shaped by deep, meaningful conversations with the professionals who will build and maintain the energy grid of the future. He backs an all-of-the-above approach to slashing carbon emissions. He also has proposed the largest-ever investment in clean-energy technology, as well as an aggressive clean-power infrastructure plan that will make the United States a global leader in fighting climate change, while putting tens of thousands of Americans to work building the energy economy of the future.

“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.

“As the largest union of energy professionals in the nation, we have been a leader in promoting clean, renewable power, from installing solar panels and building wind turbines to fighting for pro-environment, pro-jobs legislation on the local, state and federal level. No organization in the world has trained more workers for the green economy than the IBEW.

“Joe Biden’s support of a robust 21st century infrastructure plan will create significant growth not only for the IBEW’s Construction and Utility branches, but also Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Manufacturing and Railroad. In addition, we can count on him to roll back this administration’s attack on thousands of IBEW members who work in government jobs.

“Vice President Biden has listened to what we have to say about one of our nation’s most pressing challenges, and I know IBEW members will have a seat at the table in a Biden White House.”

One Response to “IBEW Endorses Biden”

  1. Electricians have never enjoyed better times, more income, and more steady work for as far as the eye can see under the President, Donald Trump. Yet the shortsighted leadership of these unions continues to ignore the truth and choose to support a guy who is nowhere near the equal of POTUS.

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