WASHINGTON — Joe Biden gained the presidential endorsement of the National Association of Letter Carriers on Friday, a union that boasts nearly 300,000 active and retired postal workers.
"Vice President Biden is — was — and will continue to be — a fierce ally and defender of the United States Postal Service (USPS), letter carriers, and our fellow postal brothers and sisters," NALC president Fredric Rolando said in a statement that also praised Democratic vice presidential pick Kamala Harris.
"Together, Biden and Harris fully exhibit the experience, dedication, thoughtfulness and steady hands that will work to ensure that letter carriers and working families are put first," he said.
The endorsement comes less than three months before Election Day and a day after President Donald Trump said he opposes Postal Service funding pushed by Democrats, noting that those resources were necessary to advance the cause of mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
"This pandemic threatens the very survival of USPS," Rolando said. "Yet, while postal employees are on the front lines providing essential services to the public every day, the current administration refuses to provide the necessary financial relief that would strengthen the agency during this pandemic."
Congressional Democrats, backed by Biden, have sought $3.6 billion to help equip states for an expected surge of mail-in votes, as well as $25 billion to shore up the Postal Service. Trump opposes it.
"Now they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. Now, in the meantime, they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items," Trump said on Fox Business Network. "But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it."
The president has raised alarms that mass mail-in voting could lead to fraud. Experts say voter fraud is extremely rare and has no connection to increased voting by mail.
Democrats have accused Trump of sabotaging the Postal Service to try to steal the 2020 election. "Pure Trump," Biden said Thursday. "He doesn’t want an election."
The recently appointed Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, is a major donor and ally of the president. He is leading a cost-cutting effort and reorganization of the institution that has been blamed for delays in mail delivery.
Rolando said the postal worker union's decision to endorse Biden is "partly informed by what we have seen from the current administration with regards to the Postal Service."
"In 2018, legislative recommendations from the White House Postal Task Force report called for the revocation of collective bargaining rights by America’s postal unions, massive cuts to services and the potential privatization of the agency," he said. "Since that time, we have continued to see the administration take steps outside of the public eye to undermine the Postal Service and letter carriers."