Biden’s new running mate earns approval from labor unions

Stephon Johnson | 8/20/2020, midnight
Last week, Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden announced that U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris would be his running mate for the ...
Kamala Harris State of California/Public Domain photo

Last week, Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden announced that U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris would be his running mate for the presidency in 2020.

Harris, who once challenged and ran against Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, wrote in an article on Medium that she’s honored to join Biden on the Democratic ticket.

“I’m humbled to be joining Joe Biden in the battle to defeat Donald Trump and build a country that lives up to our values of truth, equality, and justice,” wrote Harris. “I know that winning this race will be tougher than anything I’ve faced before, but I’ve never been more ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Donald Trump thinks this country belongs to him. But Joe Biden knows it belongs to all of us. To the people.”

Labor officials’ reaction demonstrated their belief that Harris is for the people.

32BJ President Kyle Bragg praised the pick calling Harris an advocate for the working class.

“Senator Kamala Harris will make an exceptional Vice President,” stated Bragg. “Senator Harris has been a champion for all service workers, has fought to hold corporations accountable, advocated for a $15 minimum wage, and supported a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans. As frontline essential workers keep this country going during COVID, Sen. Harris has been fighting to get them the hazard pay and PPE they need.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka also said that Harris gives a voice to the voiceless. “Kamala Harris has spent her career tackling some of the most critical issues facing working families,” stated Trumka. As California’s attorney general, she held big banks accountable in the wake of the housing crisis, prosecuted employers for stealing our wages and advanced criminal justice reform. As a U.S. senator, she has achieved a perfect AFL-CIO lifetime score, working to create a fairer process for forming a union and protecting our health care and retirement security.”

Last year, the AFL-CIO gave Harris a score of 100% when it came to voting for issues that favored the working class. Her lifetime score is 100%. The average Democrat has score of 98%.

Going by liberal signifiers, Harris’ background and track record qualify her to be Biden’s running mate. Harris has co-sponsored the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act which would give state and local workers the same rights as federal employees. Harris co-sponsored a similar bill, Protecting the Right to Organize Act, that looked to prohibit “right to work” laws from affecting unions. Similar bills have earned her praise from unions.

But not everyone’s a fan of Biden’s pick for vice president. New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said, in a statement emailed to the AmNews, that Harris had her chance to win over the country and lost.

“Americans already rejected Kamala Harris on the presidential stage because they saw right through her phony facade,” said Langworthy. “She ran for president as a wanna-be socialist and now she and puppet Joe Biden represent a radical left agenda that will bankrupt America, dismantle our freedoms and destroy public safety. This pick proves Joe Biden has no control over his campaign, and he’ll have no control over the country.”

Just a few days after Biden picked Harris as his running mate the New York City Police Benevolent Association endorsed Pres. Donald Trump for re-election. Speaking to PBA members last week, Trump said of Biden, “This guy has been taking your dignity away and your respect. And I’m telling you on Nov. 3 you’re going to be getting it back.”

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum hopes that Biden and Harris take control of the country.

“Throughout her career, Kamala Harris has been a strong supporter of the needs and aspirations of working people,” stated Appelbaum. “She has stood with them and their unions consistently. She will play an important role in undoing the damage caused by the Trump administration’s failures. Kamala Harris will help revive America’s historic journey towards justice and equality for all.”