Steelworkers for Trump Billboards Changed After Complaint From Biden-Supporting Union

Billboards calling for the re-election of Donald Trump in Indiana saw a change in their wording following a United Steelworkers union complaint.

The phrasing in the billboards was changed from "Steelworkers of NW Indiana for Trump" to "Blue Collar Workers of NW Indiana" after the union claimed that the original wording was misleading.

"Blue Collar of NW Indiana for Trump 2020 and Mark Leyva for U.S. Congress District 01 Indiana ... Paid for by Proud Blue Collar Workers of NWI," the four billboards now read in Northwest Indiana, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana.

The 1.2 million-strong United Steelworkers (USW) union said it had planned to send letters to its members and retirees, reminding them that the union had endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Indiana Democrat Frank Mrvan for Congress.

Leyva and Mrvan will face off in the upcoming election to replace retiring Democratic Representative Pete Visclosky, who has served the district since 1985, to represent Indiana's 1st Congressional District.

"I've done the job that most of these guys in there are doing (the steelworkers) and I believe I could do a much better job representing the workers. I love it actually because my campaign is getting all this free publicity from this whole thing," Leyva, who is a former member of the USW, told Newsweek.

Mrvan told the Times of Northwest Indiana that he had secured support from a number of unions, including the USW, because he has had "a consistent presence in union halls and have walked the picket lines with our union brothers and sisters throughout my career."

USW International President Tom Conway said in a statement emailed to Newsweek that many of the union's members expressed concern and anger about the billboards.

"While it's true that the small group who bought them are in fact steelworkers in Northwest Indiana who have first amendment rights, they do not speak for the union in any way and are simply expressing their own preferences," he added.

"The USW completely supports the Biden/Harris ticket as the best choice for our union, our nation and working-class people through the country regardless of their union affiliation."

The USW made their formal backing of the former vice president in May and also in August, the second time as part of the BlueGreen Alliance endorsement, which brings together labor unions and environmental groups.

In early September, the union posted a video captioned "President Trump's Broken Promises" in which it highlights permanent and indefinite closures of manufacturing operations across the country.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), a body representing 55 labor unions with 12.5 million members, has also backed Biden. It has endorsed the Democratic candidate in every election since 1976.

President Trump has received the backing of a number of police unions, including the largest, the Fraternal Order of Police. Two New York police unions, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York and the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, have also endorsed Trump.

A poll of 1,033 likely voters from early September by Indy Politics and Change Research in Indiana showed the president leading the former vice president 53 to 39 percent.

Biden Trump Supporters Wisconsin
Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump rally outside the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry on September 21, 2020 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Biden spoke at the foundry during his second campaign stop in Wisconsin this month. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Update 9/24/2020: This article has been updated to include comment from the USW president Tom Conway and Republican candidate for congress Mark Leyva.

Correction 3:50 a.m. EST 9/25/2020: This article has been updated to correct the date of the USW's endorsement of Joe Biden.