Biden to meet with Teamsters ahead of possible reelection endorsement

President Joe Biden will meet with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a powerful union representing more than 1.3 million rank-and-file members, at the labor group's headquarters in Washington D.C. on March 12.

Biden earned the Teamsters' endorsement in 2020 over former President Donald Trump. The GOP frontrunner met with the group in January but it has yet to endorse a candidate in the 2024 presidential race.

More: Pension cuts are 'not going to happen': Biden announces federal bailout for troubled union pension fund

Biden will meet with the group's union members, its General Executive Board, General President Sean M. O’Brien, and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman, according to a Teamsters press release.

Who are the Teamsters?

The Teamsters are one of the largest and most diverse unions in the United States with more than a million members and a history dating back to 1903. Originally known for its advocacy for warehouse workers, the union now represents blue and white-collar workers in the private and public sectors.

The group invited all declared presidential candidates to meet with Teamsters members in December to discuss workers' wages and wealth inequality, among other topics. The same month, it met with Independents Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Dr. Cornel West, and Democrat Dean Phillips. Republican Nikki Haley declined the invitation, according to the release.

“There are 1.3 million Teamsters working in every essential trade industry in the U.S. Our members represent every political background, including no affiliation, and we participate in every election cycle at every level," O'Brien said in a statement. "Through these roundtable conversations, the Teamsters want to make sure that all our members’ voices are heard and our elected officials do not take for granted the power of the Teamsters vote."

How would a Teamsters endorsement help Biden?

A 2024 endorsement from the Teamsters would fit well into Biden's pro-union campaign narrative.

Last September, Biden became the first president in U.S. history to join a picket line with striking auto workers in Michigan. He frequently discusses his decades of support for organized labor and has said he is committed to being the "most pro-union president" in the country's history.

If Biden is able to earn a Teamsters endorsement again in this election cycle, it could help him continue courting American middle-class voters.

USA todayThe Teamsters publicly supported Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as candidates in the 1980s but began supporting Democrats for president in recent years. In 2008, the union endorsed Barack Obama.

More: Which states vote on Super Tuesday? What to know ahead of the presidential primaries

“We realize that President Biden’s time is limited and we appreciate that he is making it a priority to meet with Teamsters," O'Brien said in the statement. "Our rank-and-file members and leadership are eager to have this conversation about the future of our country and the commitments that working people need from our next President."

Rachel Barber is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAYfocusing on politics and education. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, as @rachelbarber_

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden to meet with Teamsters for possible reelection endorsement