Unions: Urge stateside friends, family to vote for Biden
By John McPhaul
The Puerto Rico Workers Federation (FTPR-AFL-CIO) is urging island residents to encourage their families and friends in the mainland United States to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden in order to remove Donald Trump from the White House, union leader José M. Rodríguez Báez said Wednesday.
Rodríguez Báez said a group of unions came together to spread the message in favor of voting for Biden among Puerto Rican communities, especially in the key states of Florida and Pennsylvania. In Puerto Rico, several unions welcomed the effort.
However, Rodríguez Báez stated that the message does not appeal only to workers and invited all citizens to use social networks and to communicate with their relatives in the United States.
“We Puerto Ricans can make a difference to defeat Trump,” Rodríguez Báez stressed. “A president who does not respect us as a country and who with his mismanagement shows that he does not respect the United States either, cannot continue in the position.”
The union president recommended that islanders inform their family and friends in the states that there are already open early voting centers. Also, they can share the tool available on Vote.org to locate the nearest polling stations by location.
“Trump hurts us, discriminates against Puerto Rico, mocks situations that have happened to us, limits our access to allocated funds and sabotages our recovery efforts,” Rodríguez Báez said. “We are making an urgent appeal for our colleagues and everyone in Puerto Rico to communicate with their family and friends in the United States, especially in Florida and Pennsylvania, so that they can go out and vote for Biden for president.”
The union leader noted that in the United States, mass participation is crucial because the final election of the president is made by a group of 538 people who make up the Electoral College, and it does not always represent the will of the majority of the voting people.
According to a recent study by Columbia University in New York, if the result of the general election does not give Biden enough of a lead, the chances that Trump will finally win again in the Electoral College, as he did in 2016, are greater. According to the study, given the recent scenario in the United States, in order for the Democratic candidate to beat the Republican incumbent in the Electoral College, he will need 51 percent or more of the popular vote.
“There are only days left to defeat Trump, the worst president of the United States and the enemy of Puerto Rico,” Rodríguez Báez said. “Now is the time to act and urge everyone to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from today until November 3!”
The local unions in Puerto Rico that joined the vote effort in support of Biden are: the Puerto Rico Workers Federation, AFL-CIO; United Public Servants, AFCSME; Central Federation of Workers, UFCW; Union of Communications Workers, CWA; Union of Journalists, Graphic Arts and Related Branches, CWA; United Steelworkers, USW; International Association of Machinists, IAM & AW; Laborers’ International Union of North America, LIUNA; United Auto Workers, UAW; and Association of School Cafeteria Employees, UAW.