The Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO represents more than 155,000 members across the airline, railroad, and transit, university, utility and service sectors. The TWU is the largest airline workers union in the United States.

2024 Presidential Election

Brothers and Sisters,

Things sometimes move very quickly in politics, and this is one of those moments. In the last few days, the AFL-CIO has endorsed the re-election of Joe Biden and has asked the affiliates who will endorse in this race to do so as well at this juncture.

Consistent with the IAC’s belief that the economic, trade union, and industrial transportation policy positions of candidates be the guiding determiner of political support – and consistent with our support of incumbents from both political parties who have supported the goals of the TWU – we are endorsing Joe Biden. There is no doubt that this administration has advanced a pro-transport worker agenda over the last three years and are already laying the groundwork for the advancement of our members’ livelihoods over the next several years and beyond. Goals that were clearly out of reach under previous administrations – goals such as reversing the offshoring of aircraft maintenance and federal transit operating subsidies – are now within reach and attainable.

As America has become visibly more divided, the TWU has remained strongly united. We’ve done so by being respectful of one’s right to believe whatever one wishes, along the wide spectrum of viewpoints in our country’s socio-political strata. Regardless of political philosophy, the one great unifier of TWU members is the economic security of our families. That unto itself is the laser focus of the TWU International’s political program. This narrowly scoped transport-economic-trade union focus has led us to endorse both Democrats and Republicans, often to the chagrin of the powers that be in Washington, DC and in statehouses; it has also resulted in significant and continuing victories for transport workers.

Below is an extensive list of the positive transport-centric policies, laws, and initiatives that the Biden administration has undertaken, much of which has been done at the behest and urging of the TWU:


The American Rescue Plan

– $15 billion for airline payroll support program; prohibition on airline furloughs or wage decreases

– $1.8 billion for Amtrak workers; returned all Amtrak workers from furlough

– $30.5 billion for transit workers; prohibited furloughs until this money runs out (these protections are still in place at most agencies)


Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment

– Prohibition on all DOT grants going towards organizations that do not guarantee the “free and fair right to join a union”; the TWU has used this requirement to block discretionary transit grants from going to Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority because they are anti-union

– Significantly increased the number of Labor advisors in Departments and sub-department agencies

– Established measures of job quality and required grant applicants to create “high-quality jobs” as part of the application process

– Process for union officials to access SIDA areas at airports, military bases, and other federally controlled areas


Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

For Rail

– $66 billion in new funding for rail investments, including $46 billion for Amtrak

– Prohibited Amtrak from outsourcing work covered under CBAs and from furloughing onboard service workers because of product changes

– Removed requirements for Amtrak onboard service to be profitable

– Reformed Amtrak Board of Directors


For Transit

– $39 billion in new transit funding (the largest increase in federal transit funding ever)

– New transit agency Safety Committee process which gives unions an equal voice with management in safety decisions

– Updated reporting requirements and guidance to prevent assaults

– 5% mandatory set aside for workforce development from all zero-emission federal bus and bus facilities investments


JetBlue Spirit acquisition

– Department of Justice lawsuit to block the acquisition

– Department of Transportation took the extraordinary step of rejecting JetBlue’s pending waiver requests ahead of any trial decision


Transit Tech Campaign

– DOT Innovation Principles

– NHTSA data collection initiative

– FTA STAR program redesign


Transit worker protections (13c)

– Reversed the Trump administration’s decision to side with CA Governor Newsom against transit workers

– Currently blocking federal transit funding to FL following SB256


Airline understaffing investigation

– Southwest airlines investigation following December meltdown

– Adoption of TWU position that understaffing violates existing federal law


Other Air issues

– Dispatch from home safety risk management panel review (included TWU; shut down DFH for TWU carriers)

– Finalized flight attendant rest rules


Other Rail issues

– Convened Presidential Emergency Board at rail Labor’s request; personally intervened to force railroads to negotiate above the PEB’s recommendation


Other Transit issues

– Requested Congress grant transit agencies the flexibility to spend federal funding on operations

– $5 million investment in Transit Workforce Center

– New requirements for EPA’s Clean School Bus Program to create and preserve high-quality jobs as part of any transition to zero-emission buses


Other Labor issues

– Vocally and aggressively endorsed the PRO Act (including advocating for it as part of the State of the Union)

– Increased NLRB funding by $25 million/year, the first budget increase since 2014

– Required disclosure from employers on anti-union consultants

– Withdrawal of the Trump administration’s misclassification of worker’s rule and replaced it with a pro-worker version


Service Contract Act

– $15/hour minimum wage for SCA-covered workers

– Restored and strengthened the right of first refusal for union members working under government contracts

– Overturned Trump administration rules allowing sub-minimum wages and exemptions from labor standards



– Curtis Tate (Transit Safety Advisory Committee)

– Gary Peterson (TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee)


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