Teamsters president to speak at RNC

Sean O’Brien, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, will speak at the Republican National Committee (RNC) convention in Milwaukee.

“When I am back in the White House, the hardworking Teamsters, and all working Americans, will once again have a country they can afford to live in and be respected around the world,” former President Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social.

A Teamsters spokesperson confirmed O’Brien would speak at the RNC convention

“This is truly unprecedented since it will be the very first time a Teamsters General President has addressed the RNC,” said Kara Deniz, the Teamster’s assistant director of communications.

The move challenges President Biden’s historic alliance with organized labor and threatens to undercut his claim that he is the most pro-union president in history. Biden visited the picket line during the United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis last fall, a first for a sitting president.

The union endorsed Biden in January, and UAW President Shawn Fain took aim at Trump in his announcement.

“This choice is clear. Joe Biden bet on the American worker while Donald Trump blamed the American worker,” Fain said at the time. “We need to know who’s gonna sit in the most powerful seat in the world, and help us win as a united working class.”

The Teamsters have yet to endorse a candidate in the presidential election, though the influential labor union endorsed Biden in 2020.

Deniz said O’Brien had asked to speak at both party conventions, but he has not yet heard back from the Democratic National Committee.

“Our 1.3 million members represent every political background, and their message needs to be heard by as wide an audience as possible, and that includes all political candidates running for elected office,” she said. “We appreciate former President Trump’s openness to inviting a labor leader to speak on behalf of working families.”

Julia Mueller contributed.

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