Former President Donald Trump took another step towards winning back the White House when he met with Sean O’Brien, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Trump met with Sean O’Brien, the head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters tonight at Mar-a-Lago.
On his Truth Social account, Trump posted a photo of the two and wrote he is “looking forward to more discussions about important issues in the near future!” pic.twitter.com/afArpzyuj3
— Olivia Rinaldi (@olivialarinaldi) January 4, 2024
O’Brien, who heads a traditionally Democratic voting block, met with the former president to discuss “serious issues” that would improve the lives of workers in the country, according to Daily Caller.
O’BRIEN, TRUMP DISCUSS TEAMSTER ISSUES AHEAD OF RANK-AND-FILE ROUNDTABLE
Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien met privately with President Donald Trump on Wednesday for an in-depth and productive discussion on worker issues most important to the Teamsters Union.
— Teamsters (@Teamsters) January 4, 2024
“There are serious issues that need to addressed to improve the lives of working people across the country, and the Teamsters Union is making sure our members’ voices are heard as we head into a critical election year,” O’Brien said in a statement. “We thank the former President for taking time during this private meeting to listen to the Teamsters’ top priorities. And we are eager to bring together the rank-and-file for an important and necessary roundtable with President Trump this month.”
Austen Bannan, employment policy fellow with Americans for Prosperity, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it made sense for the union leader to meet with Trump given the former president’s popularity among union and non-union blue-collar workers.
“Because he gained a lot of support from union and non-union blue-collar workers the past two elections, it makes sense that Sean O’Brien and union leaders would want to meet with Trump,” Bannan said. “It’s an opportunity to appease some of those workers in terms of optics, and it’s possibly a chance to get a little insight into how Trump appeals to union workers. Maybe they can take a page from his book in their own tactics with union workers, for instance.”
Bannon added that the meeting had more to do with appeasing union workers before union leaders side with President Biden.
“While there may be some policy overlap in Trump’s economic policies with union leadership interests — domestic energy production and manufacturing goals — to me the meeting has more to do with appeasing union workers before union leaders inevitably side with President Biden and direct union member resources towards him,” Bannan added.
The unions traditionally side with Democrats. In June, FL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million workers, endorsed President Joe Biden for the 2024 election. The group hailed Biden as the most pro-union president “in our lifetimes.”
However, the Writers Guild of America, the actors union SAG-AFTRA and the United Auto Workers all went on strike in 2023 all went on strike in 2023. Biden’s green energy policy was largely blamed for the auto workers’ strike.
During the strike, Trump made moves to appeal to the striking auto workers, including blasting Joe Biden on his plans to transition to electric vehicles which affected the workers. The former president also skipped the first GOP presidential debate and instead held a rally in Michigan where he spoke to the local striking workers.