Biden Courts Labor Unions Amid Declining Support Despite Pro-Union Stance

In recent days, President Biden talked to labor unions again about how he’s standing up for them. But he’s also working hard to keep their support, even though he’s struggling to win over union households for the next election. In battleground states, fewer union members are backing him compared to the last election.

Labor unions’ power is also shrinking because not many workers are part of unions anymore. The unions that are growing are the public sector unions, not the traditional ones that Mr. Biden is trying to appeal to. He spoke to the International Brotherhood Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington. This union has about 775,000 members and has backed Biden over former President Donald Trump.

Just a few days before, Mr. Biden spoke to the United Steelworkers union in Pittsburgh, where he promised to raise tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, which is important to the union.

President Biden has been saying he’s the “most pro-union” president in U.S. history and he’s been working to prove it. Many of his big laws, including the clean-energy bill and giving money to build semiconductors, have been in line with what labor unions want. He’s also given union workers subsidies, tax credits, pension bailouts, funds for apprenticeships, and more. Mr. Biden even became the first president to join a picket line when he joined striking United Auto Workers in September.

But even with all this effort, labor unions don’t have as much power as before. The number of American workers in unions hasn’t gone up in the past three years. Only 10% of all workers are in unions, and in the private sector, it’s less than 7%.

Despite the president’s work to win their support, polls show Mr. Biden‘s backing among regular union workers isn’t very strong. A New York Times/Siena College poll in six swing states showed Mr. Biden and former President Donald Trump are tied at 47% among union members when asked who they’d vote for in November.

It’s very important for Mr. Biden to keep the support of union households. He’s already losing support among young progressives, African Americans, and Hispanics. If he can’t keep their support, he might lose some important battleground states.

While labor unions are losing their influence, public support for labor is very high. Almost 75% of Americans say they support unions. That’s the highest since the 1960s. 15 years ago, the number was below 50% for the first time in the history of the survey.

Written by Staff Reports

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