Joe Biden

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the North America's Building Trades Unions' 2024 legislative conference on April 24, 2024 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Endorsing Biden, Building Trades Union Slams Trump as Lackey for 'His Billionaire Buddies'

"He does not care about anybody in this world except Donald Trump," said the president of North America's Building Trades Unions. "His dark side is very, very dark."

The leadership of a union that represents more than 3 million building trades workers in the U.S. and Canada endorsed President Joe Biden's reelection bid on Wednesday, slamming presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump for catering to the needs of billionaires like himself during his first four years in the White House.

"When Trump was elected, we took him at his word that he would have a worker-centered agenda and deliver on long-stalled issues such as infrastructure investment," said Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU), whose governing board voted to endorse Biden on Tuesday.

"Instead of delivering," McGarvey added, Trump "aligned himself with his billionaire buddies to enact tax cuts that raised costs for our members. Simply put, he failed to deliver. Given our experience and knowing his track record, the choice is clear."

Building trades unions and their rank-and-file members are generally seen as more conservative and pro-Trump than other elements of the U.S. labor movement. In 2017, McGarvey celebrated Trump's effort to advance construction work on the Keystone XL pipeline, a massive fossil fuel project that Biden effectively killed in 2021 after years of organizing by environmentalists and Indigenous tribes.

But NABTU's leadership endorsed Clinton over Trump in the 2016 presidential election and Biden over Trump in 2020.

In a five-minute ad released Wednesday, the union highlights Trump's pledge to be a dictator on "day one" and condemns the former president as a dangerous egomaniac.

NABTU called for Trump's resignation after the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

"Donald Trump, he's not a good man. He's not a good person. He does not care about anybody in this world except Donald Trump," McGarvey says in the new ad. "His dark side is very, very dark."

In his statement Wednesday announcing NABTU's endorsement, McGarvey cites the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Chips and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act as key legislative achievements that "brought life-changing, opportunity-creating, generational change focused on the working men and women of this great country who have for far too long been clamoring for a leader to finally keep their word."

"In the coming months," he added, "we will continue to engage our membership and their families directly, member to member, door to door, and jobsite to jobsite, with an unprecedented field program in key battleground states, to tell them how important President Biden and his policies have been to them, their economic security, and their freedoms."

But McGarvey said in an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday that the union does not intend to "waste a lot of time talking to every American that supports Donald Trump" or "some of our members that support Donald Trump, because we're not gonna change their minds."

Speaking at NABTU's annual legislative conference on Wednesday, Biden welcomed the union's endorsement and said that "Donald Trump's vision of America is one of revenge and retribution, a defeated former president who sees the world from Mar-a-Lago, who bows down to billionaires and looks down on union workers."

NABTU is the latest major union to back Biden as he prepares for his high-stakes rematch with Trump in November. In January, Biden secured the support of the emboldened United Auto Workers, whose president called Trump a "scab" who "stands against everything we stand for as a union."

"Donald Trump is a billionaire," said UAW president Shawn Fain, "and that's who he represents."

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