Our Union endorses Joe Biden

October 22, 2020 10:06 AM

By HTC President Rich Maroko

For 80 years, our members have spoken out again and again against abuses of power, discrimination, and disrespect. Thousands of you have stood beside a coworker who has been treated unfairly by a manager, walked a picket line to fight for someone who wants to provide a better life for their family, and packed City Hall to advocate for laws that will protect our communities.

Well, this election is another moment when we must band together and act for the greater good.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party have a single goal: to line the pockets of the rich and expand their power. They have shamelessly abandoned the American people during the Coronavirus crisis, showing a total disregard for the challenges the average American has faced in the last seven months, and they have rallied voters around intolerance, hate, and racism.

We must vote Donald Trump and the Republican Party out in large numbers and send the message, loud and clear, that we will not tolerate this administration’s total disregard for our wellbeing and our values. Every member that can has a responsibility to vote.

Trump has abandoned working people during the Coronavirus

Under the leadership of Donald Trump, the federal government has unquestionably failed at addressing the present crisis and completely deserted working people.

For months, Trump and his allies in the Republican-controlled Senate have stonewalled Democratic efforts to support struggling Americans. They have refused to provide more federal relief to millions of unemployed Americans and today, many working families are on the brink of losing their homes and have taken on crippling medical debt after battling COVID-19.

Our Union has used our power, to the extent we can, to protect the workers we represent against some of the worst consequences of this pandemic. We fought for extended healthcare coverage, won severance pay to help laid off workers make up for the lack of federal relief, forced the hotel and gaming industry to agree to rigorous safety and testing protocols for those workers returning to the job, and used our local political power to expand your job security.

But we were not able to make up for all of the federal government’s failures. Over 215,000 Americans have died, including several hundred of our members and their family members. The tourism industry in New York and New Jersey has been devastated. Asian Americans have been victims of hate crimes because Donald Trump repeatedly blames this disaster on anti-Chinese conspiracy theories by referring to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus,” or the “Wuhan virus.” And we have watched our neighbors and communities suffer tremendously.

4 years of bigotry, discrimination, and attacks on working people

If Donald Trump’s handling of this crisis weren’t bad enough, as President, Donald Trump has attacked the very spirit that makes America great and has guided our Union over the last 80 years: the belief that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect and deserves the opportunity and freedom to pursue a better life.

Donald Trump’s immigration policies - from banning immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries at the start of his presidency to separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border - have been inhumane. He has repeatedly refused to condemn white supremacists and the Republican Party is attempting to deprive Black Americans of their right to vote across our country to this day. His administration has rolled back critical regulations that protect our environment and he has withdrawn our country from global efforts to address climate change.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party have also ruthlessly attacked organized labor. By empowering working people on the job and at the ballot box, labor unions are a threat to the wealth and power of large corporations and the rich. As president, Donald Trump has packed the National Labor Relations Board with professional union-busters: men who spent their careers helping employers defeat unions. His appointees have turned this federal agency, which was created to protect the rights of workers to join a union and bargain for fair working conditions, into a weapon against working people and have already eviscerated the scarce protections for workers who want to organize.

To our Republican members: Think twice before dismissing this

In the past, our Union found allies and endorsed candidates in both parties. But in recent years, as the Republican Party has become more and more beholden to big business and wealthy donors, it has become aggressively anti-union and attacked every effort to build and support America’s middle class. Today, the Republican Party is guided by a single principle: what will benefit the already rich and powerful.

While you may not agree with every policy or position that Joe Biden takes, the survival of the labor movement is on the line. To vote for Donald Trump is to vote against the very organization that has made sure you and your family have affordable healthcare, a secure retirement, a living wage, and a job to return to at the end of this crisis. And it is to vote against every neighbor, friend, or family member that doesn’t have the protection of a union, who has a pre-existing health condition, or who suffers discrimination because of their race, religion, or who they love.

As Vice President, Joe Biden fought for all Americans, not just the 1%

Over his long career, Joe Biden has proven that he respects and cares about the wellbeing of working people.

The Obama-Biden administration fought to give millions of Americans access to affordable healthcare and to eliminate discrimination by insurance companies against those who have pre-existing conditions.

They worked towards ending discrimination: repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and allowing LGBTQ service members to serve openly in our military, increasing penalties for hate crimes, and enacting DACA, an immigration policy that protected undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children.

They understand that if polluting the environment is not prohibited by law, international treaty, and enforceable government regulation, corporations will unquestionably keep poisoning the planet. If it matters to you that our children and grandchildren have an inhabitable planet, vote Democratic.

And they made it easier for workers to join a union. Under the Obama-Biden administration, the NLRB took away legal tactics that employers have used to delay union elections and run vicious anti-union campaigns for years.

I believe that as President, Joe Biden would protect the healthcare of millions of Americans, examine the systemic racism in our country and work to fix it, restore our standing with our allies, and support organized labor.

Make a plan to vote

For information about how to register to vote and your options to vote safely in-person or by mail, click here.

Get out the vote for Biden-Harris

Volunteer with your Union to call union members in critical swing states and get out the vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Click here to sign up.

In solidarity,

HTC President Rich Maroko