International Brotherhood of Teamsters Political Director Tyler Longpine discussed the political outreach process during a pandemic, how the Teamsters make political endorsements and more on Sept. 23 episode of America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
Campaigning during COVID-19
Longpine said the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to their regular campaign strategies of connecting with members face to face and discussing the issues. He said this campaign season the Teamsters have been using mail and digital campaign methods such as text messaging, email and video conferencing software.
Longpine said these campaign methods have been well received. He said members are picking up the phone, reading emails and participating in webinars.
How the Teamsters endorse candidates
Longpine then went through the process of how the Teamsters endorse candidates.
He said rank-and-file Teamsters members selected their three most important campaign issues as retirement security, making good trade deals and expanding collective bargaining rights. The Teamsters then brought these issues to the candidates.
While Joe Biden and Kamala Harris fell more in line with these issues, President Trump did not. This left the Teamsters to endorse Joe Biden for president.
Educating members and securing volunteers
Finally, Longpine said the Teamsters have been running campaigns to educate members on how to vote in an election that is sure to be anything but normal. From absentee voting to voting in person, the Teamsters have produced materials to help better educate members.
He also said the Teamsters have launched efforts to identify individuals who would volunteer to be poll workers on election day. Longpine said this will help alleviate long lines at the polls and keep more poll locations open.