UPDATE: SMART Union Sheet Metal Workers Endorse Joe Biden
The presidential candidate says sheet metal workers have "always been essential."
Updated at 6:30 a.m. on July 2, 2020
The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers has endorsed Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. In a statement, SMART said:
The endorsement was informed by discussions with and feedback from SMART members and leaders from across the United States who met to discuss SMART issues and which candidate best supports them. Over the past four years, SMART leadership has also met with all the major presidential candidates from both parties, including the incumbent president, and had meaningful dialogue with them regarding issues impacting SMART members.
SMART has engaged with and listened to our members from coast to coast about their views and opinions regarding our union, their jobs and current events that affect their future. This effort was launched to ensure members have a say in shaping the course of our union as it proceeds to advance the needs and viewpoints of the membership.
Biden has a long history of engaging with SMART members and working families in both the sheet metal and transportation industries. The endorsement decision was based on Biden’s strong support of the concerns most important to our members, including the need for two-person railroad crews, retirement and pension security, protection of prevailing wages, and a prioritization of workplace safety. He also is dedicated to acting on a plan for real infrastructure work to enhance employment opportunities for current and future members in the industries SMART represents. SMART members have made it clear they can no longer wait after four years of empty promises for new infrastructure initiatives from the current administration.
From his early years working with local sheet metal workers as a County Commissioner in Delaware, to his frequent meetings with SMART Amtrak conductors during his commute back and forth to Washington, D.C., Joe Biden has been acutely aware of and engaged with the issues on the minds of our members.
After a series of discussions with Biden’s campaign staff, where members’ feedback and concerns were shared with the candidate, Vice President Biden took the time to respond with a video outlining his positions on the issues. His impassioned message in this video proves that Biden is the clear choice for our union and the membership.
SMART is highly engaged in the political process to ensure our issues are advanced and our members’ livelihoods are protected. We also strive to ensure union leadership is transparent and clear with our members when it comes to decisions in the electoral arena. We work to advance our members’ issues by advocating and educating on their behalf while supporting candidates, regardless of party, who stand with SMART members and for issues important to all working families.
In a video message to the SMART Workers, presidential candidate Joe Biden called on sheet metal union members to support his plan to reshape the country's economy via workforce development.
"Because despite everything that is happening today, we also have a tremendous opportunity," Biden says, "not only to rebuild our economy but to invest in workers and build back better for the future."
The nucleus of his plan, according to Biden, is to pass a $1 trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, "creating millions of new, good paying jobs."
In the video, Biden also made reference to some of the more immediate needs facing sheet metal workers such as PPE, adding "you deserve the PPE and testing that you need to do your jobs without risk or fear."
"Today we are being tested like we haven't been in generations," Biden says. "The truth is: you've always been 'essential.'"
The full video is available to watch below and has been viewed more than 11,000 times.
Although the SMART sheet metal union is considered a nonpartisan organization, its leaders have always been highly engaged in the the political process when it comes to supporting issues that will improve the lives of its membership.
According to SMART, general president Joe Sellers has focused the Union’s efforts to listen to and address feedback from members on local, state, and federal issues that affect them at work since the 2016 election cycle. "This means being transparent and clear with members when asked to support the candidates who most closely align with our issues," says SMART. In the last four years, SMART leadership has met with nearly all presidential candidates to discuss issues of importance to its membership.
SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, is one of North America’s most dynamic and diverse unions with 203,000 members.