The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has endorsed Joe Biden for president of the United States, citing his long-time support of the ILA and unions in general, and commitment to promoting unionization.
The ILA urged its members to support Biden in Tuesday’s Democratic primaries in Illinois, Ohio, and Florida, where the former vice president is competing against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. While the ILA has few members in Illinois, it has several hundred in Ohio, working in the Great Lakes ports of Cleveland and Toledo, and more than 2,000 in Florida, in the ports of Miami, Tampa, Everglades, and Jacksonville, said ILA spokesman Jim McNamara.
ILA President Harold J. Daggett, in a statement, said Biden “is the best candidate in 2020 to defeat Donald Trump and return honor, dignity and prosperity to the United States of America.”
The ILA endorsement gives Biden the support of a union that has 59 locals and 30,000 members on the US East and Gulf Coasts, and another 15,000 members at affiliates in ports on the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and in Eastern Canada, McNamara said.
As a long-time senator representing Delaware, Biden was friendly with ILA leaders Arthur “Skinny” Wilson, who worked at the Port of Wilmington in the 1970s and 1980s, and Alex Talmadge, who worked at the Port of Philadelphia in the 1980s, the ILA said.
“Joe Biden is a true friend of the ILA and working men and women across America,” Daggett said.
Biden, during his campaign, has committed to checking the abuse of corporate power over labor and holding corporate executives personally accountable for violations of labor laws, the ILA statement said.