Trump Meets With Teamsters President as Union Weighs 2024 Endorsement

Trump Meets With Teamsters President as Union Weighs 2024 Endorsement

Sean M. O’Brien, the overall president of the Teamsters union, sat down with former President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday at Mr. Trump’s seaside mansion, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla.

Kara Deniz, a spokeswoman for the union, stated the assembly was merely one in every of a collection of conferences the Teamsters plan to have with all of the presidential candidates.

But this explicit assembly, which the union detailed in a lengthy post on social media that was accompanied by an image of Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Trump, got here at a outstanding second. At a public listening to in November, Senator Markwayne Mullin, a staunchly pro-Trump Republican from Oklahoma, called Mr. O’Brien a “thug,” a “bully” and a coward, and challenged him to a combat.

President Biden has referred to as himself essentially the most pro-union president in historical past, as have a number of leaders of organized labor, and the Teamsters endorsed his candidacy in 2020. In December, Mr. Biden issued an government order mandating what are generally known as challenge labor agreements — which set up fastened work, wage and labor requirements at building websites — for all federal contracts exceeding $35 million. That order was a possible boon to the Teamsters union, which is prone to management transportation at a lot of these websites and must be introduced into contract talks as funds from Mr. Biden’s signature home achievements begin to circulation.

Just final week, the Biden administration named Cole Scandaglia, the Teamsters’ senior legislative consultant, to a high-profile advisory board on the Transportation Department. And in 2022, the administration moved to shore up a pension fund that affected 350,000 Teamster retirees.

Yet there was Mr. O’Brien subsequent to a beaming Mr. Trump, whose attraction to working-class voters will probably be key to his re-election bid. Mr. O’Brien promised the previous president a seat at one other assembly later this month in Washington, this time with rank-and-file members.

Serious points have to be addressed “to enhance the lives of working folks throughout the nation, and the Teamsters union is ensuring our members’ voices are heard as we head right into a essential election 12 months,” Mr. O’Brien stated in a press release. “We thank the previous president for taking time throughout this non-public assembly to hearken to the Teamsters’ prime priorities.”

Teamsters leaders have met with different candidates, primarily on the margins of the 2024 election and none with Mr. Trump’s profile. The first two meetings came last month, with former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, whose presidential campaign has barely registered with voters, and with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the anti-vaccine unbiased who qualified this week for the presidential ballot in Utah. The union has also met with Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips, Democratic candidates, in addition to Cornel West, who’s working as a left-wing unbiased.

A spokesman for the Biden marketing campaign, Ammar Moussa, stated the president “appears to be like ahead to persevering with to work with the Teamsters and employees throughout America to make sure working Americans get a fair proportion of the wealth they’re serving to to create.”

In September, Mr. Biden grew to become the primary sitting president to affix a picket line when he stood with members of the United Auto Workers striking in Michigan. Pressure from the administration helped resolve the strike, and has helped other unions expand their organizing.

Still, whereas the U.A.W.’s brash new president, Shawn Fain, has praised Mr. Biden and castigated Mr. Trump, the U.A.W. has up to now not endorsed the president’s re-election bid, and Mr. O’Brien might have added to the White House’s frustration. As the Teamsters line up conferences with every presidential candidate, the union’s management seems intent on sustaining its leverage, simply as Mr. Fain has.



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