Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden got a late boost in the White House race Friday when he scored the endorsement of a prominent alliance of construction unions.
North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), which includes 14 unions representing nearly 3 million workers, announced it was backing the former vice president, touting his character and saying he’d support the country’s middle class.
“With so much at stake right now, America needs responsible, forward-thinking White House leadership that reflects American shared values and delivers on its promises. We need a President who keeps his word and will put America on a better path forward,” NABTU President Sean McGarvey said in a statement.
“Understanding the seriousness of the job he is seeking, especially with the pandemic and recession, Joe Biden will deliver for America’s working class because he’s done it before. He values America’s diverse middle class, and the union workers who built and preserve it,” McGarvey added. “After four years of broken promises and the Trump Administration’s war on the middle class, we need a pro-building trades union administration, and Joe Biden and [Sen.] Kamala Harris [D-Calif.] are the right choice.”
The union’s backing of Biden came after President Trump also courted the group’s support, according to Reuters, which was the first to report on the NABTU endorsement. NABTU supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, though it said half of its rank-and-file members backed Donald Trump in the endorsement process.
McGarvey specifically cited Biden’s infrastructure and energy plans, which he said would “support union building trades workers and their families.”
Biden knocked Trump at Thursday night’s debate for not passing an infrastructure package into law, and his own plan calls for investing nearly $2 trillion over four years for an array of efforts.
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The endorsement gives Biden a boost as he looks to win back white, working-class voters who abandoned the Democratic Party in 2016 to help fuel President Trump’s surprise victory four years ago. That voting bloc is again set to play an outsized role in key swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Biden has long cast himself as an ally of labor movements and unions, vowing during his campaign to bring back the “dignity of work” and releasing a plan that would seek to incentivize unionization and collective bargaining.
“Joe Biden knows the construction industry, all frontline essential workers, and, indeed, the entire nation need strong labor protections, health and retirement security, and the economic opportunity that collective bargaining provides – and his policies will ensure it,” said McGarvey.