Tags: 2020 Elections | Joe Biden | unions | vote

Union Bosses to Rank-and-File: Don't Vote Your Pocketbooks!

oil rig illustration

By Tuesday, 03 November 2020 10:34 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Among the roughly 150 million Americans who are expected to vote in today’s federal elections, rank-and-file members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE/AFL-CIO) may be among the least receptive to the notion, espoused by Joe Biden at the final 2020 presidential debate on October 22, that the U.S. should “transition from the oil industry.”

As Washington Post reporter Sean Sullivan explained in a story assessing how Biden’s announced plans for energy jobs and production are playing in Pennsylvania, a crucial presidential battleground state, the IUOE union “includes many members who work on pipelines and other gas projects.”

Workers whose jobs depend, either directly or indirectly, on a flourishing oil-and-natural gas market have understandably been leery of Biden, who in 2019 told a town hall questioner, “We’re going to end fossil fuel.” They rationally suspect that a Biden-Harris White House could push for a complete nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, to extract oil or natural gas from the earth, as the former vice president has publicly indicated he would.

Even if Biden doesn’t go that far, he is also espousing a list of energy-related policy proposals that would “strangle” fracking in particular and oil and gas extraction and use generally through red-tape regulation.

Biden’s open hostility towards oil and gas is undoubtedly one of the top reasons why many if not most of the rank-and-file members of IUOE Local 95, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., who back either candidate are supporting Trump over Biden, as Local 95 Business Manager Keith Thurner readily acknowledged to Sullivan.

Of course, the Pennsylvania rank-and-file workers who favor Trump know full well that the Washington, D.C.-based top bosses of Local 95’s parent union have endorsed Biden and are freely spending dues money that they are forced by law to fork over to the union in order to keep their jobs to put Biden in the White House. In late September, IUOE kingpins even joined Biden on a “whistle-stop tour” of Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

We won’t know until the final 2020 exit polls are available how this internal union struggle will turn out. But regardless of the outcome of the Trump-Biden showdown, a couple of things are already obvious.

One is that high-ranking bosses of national industrial and construction unions like the IUOE are opposing the presidential candidate that rank-and-file union members clearly believe has a better stance on protecting and expanding good jobs for blue-collar workers in states like Pennsylvania.

The other is that it continues to be true in 2020, as it surely was in 2016, that when union bosses have a choice between pouring forced-dues treasury money into a candidate who will help workers and a candidate who backs more coercive power for Big Labor, they routinely opt for the latter.

The fact that Biden has pledged to push for passage of the so-called “PRO” Act (H.R.2474/S.1306), a smorgasbord of new special privileges for union monopolists, including the evisceration of all 27 state Right to Work laws that are currently on the books, is obviously key for people like IUOE President Jim Callahan.

If the PRO Act, which has already been rubber-stamped this year by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s U.S. House of Representatives, becomes law, forced union fees as a condition of employment will be permitted in all 50 states by federal fiat. No state will any longer have the power to protect private-sector employees from compulsory union financial support.

By comparison, Biden’s advocacy of an energy agenda that even a sympathetic observer can see would destroy the jobs of many rank-and-file IUOE members is evidently a small matter to Callahan.

Mark Mix is president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the National Right to Work Committee. Mix began working for the National Right to Work Committee in 1990, becoming Executive Vice President before being named President of both the Committee and the Foundation in 2003. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Workers whose jobs depend, either directly or indirectly, on a flourishing oil-and-natural gas market have understandably been leery of Biden, who in 2019 told a town hall questioner, "We’re going to end fossil fuel."
unions, vote
Tuesday, 03 November 2020 10:34 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved