Bill Gerhard, President of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council, announced his endorsement of Joe Biden for President today.
“Born into a working class family in Scranton, Joe Biden will always stand with labor because at his core, he’s one of us,” said Bill Gerhard of Iowa City in a news release. “Whether it’s fighting to raise wages, reward hard work, build on Obamacare, or strengthen our retirement programs, Joe has always been in lockstep with labor and middle-class Iowans. I’m personally proud to endorse Joe Biden and I’m supporting him at the Iowa Caucus because he’s the bold leader we need to beat Donald Trump and to bring dignity and honesty back to the White House.”
Gerhard cited Vice President Biden’s long standing support for organized labor, his vision to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act by providing a public option, and his plan to reward hard work, not just wealth as the main reasons he endorsed Biden.
The state building trades is one of the more politically active and influential labor organizations in Iowa, though this endorsement is just from their individual leader. But Gerhard has extensive contacts throughout the labor community to help boost Biden in the caucus.
The former vice president received the endorsement of the firefighters union almost as soon as he announced earlier this year, and the yellow-shirted members are frequently seen at Biden’s events. It appears, however, that most labor unions are sitting out formal endorsements this year with so many supportive Democrats running.
One of Biden’s biggest pitches to caucus-goers is his ability to win back working-class voters like the union members that abandoned Democrats for Donald Trump in 2016.
“Organized labor is the backbone of this country – it was strong unions that built the middle-class, and today in Iowa, organized labor is under attack,” said Greg Schultz, Campaign Manager, Biden for President in the news release. “Throughout his career, Joe Biden has fought for union members and middle-class families – that’s why we’re so proud to have an Iowa labor leader like Bill Gerhard on Team Joe.”
Earlier this year Biden released his plan to support workers and labor.
by Paige Godden
Photo by Julie Fleming