The SIU’s political department has completed its review of the results of Election 2020. The findings show overwhelming success for candidates supported by the SIU.
Unlike most federal political action committees, the Seafarers Political Activities Donation – SPAD, the union’s voluntary fund – is bipartisan, and the union contributes to incumbents, challengers and candidates running in open seat races.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, SPAD participated in 153 races around the country. In those elections, the SIU-backed candidate won in 149 and lost in four. That’s a win percentage of 97.38.
SPAD participated in 13 Senate races around the country. Of those races, the SIU-backed candidate won in every single race (for a win percentage of 100).
The U.S. Electoral College was scheduled to vote Dec. 14 and was expected to certify Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president.
In a letter to SIU President Michael Sacco earlier this year, former Vice President Biden wrote in part, “As a lifelong advocate for working families and unions, I write to assure you of my strong and unwavering support for the Seafarers International Union, its members, and the U.S.-flag Merchant Marine fleet. Labor unions built the middle class and the middle class built this country. The basic building blocks of a good life – middle-class jobs at union wages, a 40-hour work week, health insurance, retirement benefits, a voice in the workplace – resulted from workers who organized unions and fought for worker protections. This is the history of the Seafarers International Union. And at a time when our country is facing unprecedented challenges, our economic future today depends on unions like yours – just as it did in the past. “Just as unions are essential to the middle class, the U.S.-flag Merchant Marine fleet and the men and women who operate U.S.-flag ships are crucial to America’s national security, our international trade relationships, and economic development,” Biden continued. “For this reason, I have been a consistent and strong advocate for the Jones Act and its mandate that only U.S.-flag vessels carry cargo in the coastwise trade. As President, I will continue my strong support for the Jones Act.”
He added his ongoing support for cargo preference laws, the U.S. Maritime Security Program, and the U.S. Export-Import Bank, all of which help maintain jobs for U.S. mariners.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, during on online speech that took place Nov. 5, said the union vote made a big difference on Election Day. “Joe Biden’s path to the White House ran through America’s labor movement,” Trumka stated. “Initial toplines from our post-election survey show union members went 58 percent for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. While the general public supported Biden by three points, our members favored him by 21 points.
Simply put, we got out the vote. In Wisconsin. In Michigan. In Pennsylvania. Joe Biden’s firewall was union made!”
He added, “The labor movement is expanding the map. Look at Arizona. Look at Georgia.” Trumka concluded, “There will be work to do over these next few days, and no shortage of work over the next four years. While we don’t know the final composition of the Senate, we know our priorities. Our members made it clear. Some 95 percent say that protecting workers’ rights is the top priority for this next congress. And yes, that includes 93 percent of our members who went for Trump. The right to collective bargaining. Fair wages and workplace safety. A voice on the job. The belief that all work has dignity and everyone should retire with security. None of that is red or blue. It’s simply American. It’s what America’s labor movement has fought for in 2020 – not just in this election but in our workplaces, too…. None of this will be easy, but union members are not afraid of hard work. We do it every day and we see the job through.”