President Joe Biden hailed the work of the Teamsters and the leadership of outgoing General President Jim Hoffa in a greeting he gave during the opening day of the union’s 30th International Convention.
In prerecorded comments from the White House, Biden thanked Hoffa and the Teamsters for their support, and said he and his administration plan to keep working with the union to implement policies like the American Jobs Plan and the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to help hardworking Americans.
“Jim, what can I say? You’ve been a strong leader and a steadfast friend. Thank you for everything,” Biden said. “Since the beginning, you all have been with me. And I’m with you.”
He noted that the enactment of the American Rescue Plan in March – which included language to implement badly needed reforms to the nation’s multiemployer pension system – happened in part because of the work of the Teamsters. And he is hopeful that will continue with other legislation.
“We were able to include a provision for your brother Butch Lewis that guarantees the pensions you worked for will be there for decades to come,” Biden said. “And now we are working with you on the blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America, to create millions of good-paying union jobs that can’t be outsourced.”
Getting those policies through Congress is going to take work, Biden conceded. “But I know if you have a tough job ahead of you, it’s always a good idea to call the Teamsters.”