Members of the Teamsters, one of the most influential workers’ union, have been known for their loyalty to Democrats during election season. The union boasts around 1.4 million members through the United States and Canada, and their political support has been important to Democrats.
However, this year, the union has decided to withhold endorsement of any particular candidate, Democrat or Republican, and one active member recently revealed that many members have been leaning toward a GOP candidate — Donald Trump.
Antonio Caracciolo launched a Facebook page entitled “Teamsters United For Donald J. Trump.” The Teamsters local 282 member said he created the page for his fellow workers to discuss their political support for the billionaire businessman.
“We all like Trump,” Caracciolo explained to Breitbart News, pointing to trade as a major reason. He also added that support for Hillary Clinton was unlikely as she “was in the initiation process” for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.
As a former union member, just want to thank TEAMSTERS for supporting TRUMP. Hoping other unions follow through. He’s the man for you.
— Rich G (@richg4021) January 16, 2016
“We went out and we went against those trade agreements,” he explained. “We need to stop the free trade because it’s hurting our country,” he added. “Basically, this is why Trump is more appealing to me, close the borders … work on the currency manipulation and the trade deficits.”
Caracciolo has been concerned about Americans losing their jobs due to companies moving their operations to other countries.
“Hilary Clinton talks about jobs, but the trade agreements caused Ford to be able to move to Mexico,” he said.
He believed that cracking down on illegal immigration would result in “more jobs” for Americans.
“I believe that if there’s less people in the workforce, or available for work, they got to pay for them,” he explained. “It’s like supply and demand.”
Free Trade is Hurting Our Country Say Teamster Workers Who Back Donald Trump on Trade, Migration, Supply & Demand https://t.co/nVdCoUJSaJ
— Babs Corner (@rockymtdenizen) March 9, 2016
NPR’s Steve Inskeep recently talked to Caracciolo to discuss his support for Trump:
INSKEEP: So are there a lot of debates, political arguments going on among Teamsters who support…
CARACCIOLO: Well, the president of our local, which has about 4,800 people, I don’t think he’d want to tell at a union meeting, ask how many guys want Donald Trump, stand up. They’re shying away from that.
INSKEEP: Because there’d be a lot of them, you think?
INSKEEP: But it sounds like there’d also be some for Sen. Bernie Sanders
CARACCIOLO: There are some for Bernie Sanders — not for Hillary, very little.
INSKEEP: Anybody else? Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio?
CARACCIOLO: No, no.
INSKEEP: John Kasich?
INSKEEP: Why him?
CARACCIOLO: He talks straight.
Just before the New Hampshire primary, Trump told supporters that he would be able to bring in union voters.
“They’re having a revolution within the Teamsters because the men and people of the Teamsters want to vote for me,” Trump said. “The leadership is always stuck with the Democrats. But the workers want to vote for Trump.”
Trump will undoubtedly use this support to further his argument that he would be able to bring in people who don’t typically vote Republican in November’s general election.
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