Employee unions endorse Biden
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Jul 21, 2020
The two largest federal employee unions, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), on July 20 announced their endorsements of Joe Biden for president. The unions opted not to endorse in the primaries -- a departure from the 2016 election cycle, when both national unions endorsed Hillary Clinton before the primaries were officially underway.
AFGE, which represents 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers, reported that its members preferred Biden to President Donald Trump by a margin of more than 30 percentage points -- 58.4% to 28%. The union also cited a weighted poll that put Biden up 45 percentage points over Trump.
According to internal polling, AFGE members considered the following issues most important to an endorsement: pension protections (82%), pay (78%), workplace rights (78%) health insurance (73%), and safety issues (71%).
Biden recently answered an AFGE questionnaire on collective bargaining rights, federal employee pay and benefits, job security, employee furloughs and discrimination. He committed to roll back the Trump administration's actions to curtail government workers’ rights on the job, to protect their benefits and retirement from cost-sharing schemes that benefit insurance companies and big banks but hurt workers, and to make sure government workers are paid fairly and treated with dignity, fairness and respect, the union said.
“Because former Vice President Biden is the overwhelming choice of our members, because of his strong commitment to protecting our members’ rights, retirements, benefits and pay, and because of President Trump’s disastrous record on these issues, we are proud to endorse Joe Biden for President,” AFGE said in its endorsement.
Local and national leaders of NTEU, which represents 150,000 frontline federal workers, evaluated the presidential candidates “solely on issues affecting federal workers, including pay, benefits, agency funding, collective bargaining, workplace rights and engagement with NTEU on the union’s key issues,” the union said in a statement. The endorsement process included an independent examination of each candidates’ record on issues relevant to federal employees, public statements as well as input from local union leaders.
“Joe Biden is exactly who federal employees need in the White House,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. “Throughout his career, Joe Biden has been an advocate of fair pay and benefits and giving frontline employees a meaningful voice in the federal workplace. As President, he would be a powerful advocate for providing federal agencies and employees with the resources they need to carry out their missions, including national security, public health, environmental protection, economic growth and consumer safety.”