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Biden’s bid to attract Rust Belt workers faces troubles in his own backyard

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REUTERS:

“I make no apologies. I am a union man,” he declared.

But in Philadelphia, where Biden on Tuesday will be among a half dozen Democratic presidential candidates appearing at what labor union federation the AFL-CIO has billed as a “Workers’ Presidential Summit,” there are signs of cracks in Biden’s union support.

Philadelphia for Biden is not just any city. It is home to his campaign headquarters, the biggest city in his home state of Pennsylvania, and an area that has long been home to oil refineries — and their union employees. And it is just miles from Delaware, which he represented in the U.S. Senate for more than 30 years.

More than a dozen current and former union leaders and workers who spoke to Reuters recently in Philadelphia, questioned Biden’s loyalty.

In embracing calls to phase out the fossil fuel industry that many of the region’s pipefitters and steelworkers rely on for jobs, they say, the former vice president and Democratic front-runner risks losing his “hard-hat” appeal in a critical swing state.

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