AFL-CIO Backs Biden as Labor Leaders Stay Silent – Biden Cancels NEA Speech after Union Locks Out Staffers – Teamster Prez to Face Protests at RNC

UAW President Shawn Fain stands with Biden after endorsing him for re-election this January. (Alex Brandon/AP)


Greetings from the Burgh, where people are really scared that Biden will lose Pennsylvania and labor appears to be silent. 

AFL-CIO Backs Biden as Labor Leaders Stay Silent

While some Congressional Democrats have publicly called for Biden to leave the race, labor leaders have largely stayed silent. 

“I think there is a real fear that if union leaders come out against Biden, that it could lead to their union members not voting for him,” one senior labor leader told Payday Report. 

Earlier today, the AFL-CIO President, Liz Shuler, issued a statement that declared labor’s unified support for Biden staying in the race. 

“President Biden and Vice President Harris have always had workers’ backs—and we will have theirs,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in a statement. 

Read the full statement here. 

Biden Cancels NEA Speech After Union Locks Out Staff 

This week, President Joe Biden was expected to give a major high level speech at the National Education Association convention.

However, earlier this week, NEA union staffers went on strike. 

NEA’s leadership then decided to lock out its workers, causing President Biden to cancel rather than cross a picket line. 

“N.E.A. has abandoned its union values with its actions at the bargaining table,” said staff union president Robin McLean in statement. “N.E.A. would rather cancel a multimillion-dollar convention than comply with labor law.”

For more on the ugly labor struggle at NEA, check out Dave Jamieson at HuffPost. 

Protests to Meet Teamsters Union President at RNC Next Week

Finally, while labor unions and democrats deal with the fallout of Biden’s decline, one labor leader is hedging his bets. 

Teamsters President Sean O’Brien plans to speak at the RNC next week. Not only does he plan to speak, but his union contributed $45,000 to cover the cost of the RNC. 

However, it’s unlikely that unions will be celebrated from the platform. Some anti-union groups have already pledged to protest Sean O’Brien’s speech to the RNC. 

The anti-union group Center for Union Facts plans to have electronic billboards circling the RNC that call Sean O’Brien “Two Face.” 

“One speaking engagement doesn’t change the facts,” Charlyce Bozzello of the anti-union Center for Union Facts said in a statement to Payday. “Ninety-nine percent of the Teamsters’ advocacy dollars go to left-wing causes and workers whose dues fund this partisan posturing aren’t being fooled.”

News & Links Elsewhere

Alright folks, that’s all for today. We will have a lot more tomorrow. Keep sending tips, story ideas, comments, complaints, and cooking recipes to [email protected] 

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]