Massachusetts teachers delivered another blow to frontrunner Hillary Clinton, joining a prominent list of labor groups that have delayed endorsements in the Democratic primary. According to Fox News correspondent James Rosen, leadership within the Teamsters wants to meet with Donald Trump before endorsing any candidate.
With the potential for an endorsement from the Teamsters Union, Trump stands to gain more credibility with critics who may see him as divisive.
Despite the reports, Teamsters Spokesman Galen Munroe said the union has no meetings with any candidates now planned. “The Teamsters will work with and support any candidate who puts the needs of America’s working families above the deep pockets of their corporate donors”. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and any other candidate “regardless of party affiliation” committed to improving the lives of working families. Richard Trumpka, leader of the AFL-CIO public employees union, warned in September that unions would sit out the 2016 campaign over Clinton’s support for TPP, which unions have strongly opposed.
The union backs up their endorsements with millions of dollars of contributions to Democrats each year.
And if Clinton doesn’t withdraw her support of President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, the president of The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations recently hinted that she may lose their support too. He could not confirm whether the union is trying to setup a meeting with Trump or any other candidate.
Trump, of course, said on Fox News in 2011 that he has “a great relationship with unions”. The National Nurses Union endorsed the Sanders campaign in August. The Teamsters did endorse former President Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 and former President George H.W. Bush in 1988.