The Teamsters have hit the ground running in an effort to play a significant role in the upcoming 2020 presidential campaign by soliciting members’ views on the issues, creating a new website and making sure the union is a presence at candidate events across the country.
After polling more than 22,000 working and retired Teamsters both online and through printed surveys over a three-month period to find out what topics mattered the most to them, the union discovered the membership wants to hear the presidential contenders talk about pension reform, collective bargaining and trade. To that end, the Teamsters asked candidates to sign a pledge promising to support these issues and have built a website (www.teamstersvote.com) where the membership can learn more about their stances.
“We’ve got to shape the debate about what this election is about,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Candidates are going to come to us and ask for our support. But they are going to have to prove that they are really with us.”
The Teamsters are requiring all Democratic and Republican candidates, including President Trump, to do a series of things to be considered for the union’s endorsement.
First, they must sign the Teamster pledge to support the union in its pension fight, the battle to protect collective bargaining and for fair trade. Second, the Teamsters want those running for president to do an on-camera interview with the union to tell Teamsters exactly how they will join us in these fights. Third, the Teamsters believe that all workers deserve a union and asked campaigns to acknowledge the union should their workers seek to form a union.
Finally, the next step is to get candidates out with Teamster members or workers who want to join the union. That could be a strike line or an organizing committee meeting. Showing solidarity is imperative!
Would-be voters must educate themselves. What are the candidates’ views of the future for working Americans? And how will they affect not only workers today, but their children and grandchildren who will need to support themselves in the decades to come?
That is something the Teamsters plan on helping members discern in the months ahead.
Workers deserve a president who is a partner that realizes that it is not just jobs, but the quality and dependability of those jobs that matters.
“Workers want good jobs, not two or three jobs,” Hoffa told Maria Bartiromo on her Fox Business morning show.
Teamsters are also gearing up themselves to get involved. Currently the union is holding trainings across the country that will lead to more and more of its members heading to worksites and talking to their fellow workers about the election and the important issues at hand.
All of this is being done under the belief that those who worked hard and played by the rules should have the ability to provide a comfortable life for their loved ones, and retire with the benefits they were promised.
That must be the goal of anyone seeking to be president.