AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott

One of the Biggest Unions in the Country Just Made a $45,000 Donation to the RNC

Labor unions are notoriously left-leaning in both leadership and in political action. While many blue-collar workers who are a part of the biggest unions in the country are split between Republicans and Democrats, the unions as a whole are very much pro-Democrat.

That makes this story from the Washington Post very interesting. The Teamsters, one of the most well-known unions in the country, made a pretty sizable donation to the Republican National Committee – and it’s bigger than the one they just gave the Democratic National Committee.

The Teamsters’ political committee has given $45,000 to the Republican National Committee, according to federal records, a significant departure for a powerful organized labor group that has more recently supported Democrats, such as President Biden, who have championed workers’ rights.
The union sent out the contribution — the maximum allowed from the union’s political action committee — to the RNC the same day former president Donald Trump met with Teamsters’ leadership for the second time in January.

While the Teamsters typically make the occasional donation to Republican candidates, donations to the RNC itself are rare – the last one time it donated to the Republican group was in 2004, when it made a $15,000 donation. As you can see below, the vast majority of Teamster political spending goes toward Democrats.

The Teamsters occasionally make small political contributions through its political action committee to Republican candidates and PACS, but the donation to the RNC departs from its usual spending. It is the union’s first contribution to the RNC since it donated $15,000 in 2004, according to data on Open Secrets, a Washington nonprofit that tracks campaign finance contributions.
Excluding this RNC donation, roughly 95 percent of the Teamsters’ nearly $458,000 in contributions this election has gone to Democrats, including the $30,000 gift to the DNC and a $60,000 contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

It’s a pretty big deal, and possibly indicative of the perilous position President Joe Biden finds himself in.

The Biden administration has been accused of manufacturing a labor crisis in 2022, just ahead of the midterm elections, in order to eventually show how much of an ally he was to blue-collar workers. At the time, the country was on the brink of a rail strike that would have crippled the American economy further and would have tied up transportation across the country.

Ultimately, his team was able to work out a compromise between the workers and the rail companies, but not before he was blasted for his seeming indifference. Some said the crisis was one of his own making for political points.

Later, there were also threats of strikes for other delivery companies, which further vexed the president’s team.

Biden has often portrayed himself as relatable to the common man, with frequent anecdotes about where and how he grew up – though many of those stories are frequently called into question while others are flat-out disproven.

The president is struggling to connect with voters right now, and economic concerns have been at the top of the list for most voters, including union workers. The administration’s efforts (or perceived lack thereof) likely played at least a bit of a role in the Teamster political committee’s donation to the RNC. Former president Donald Trump won a lot of union workers in 2016 and was able to connect with more over time. 

If the Teamsters are giving Republicans a bigger look in 2024, it can only mean that the Democrats have much deeper problems than they realized.

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