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  • Hillary Wins Another Huge Union Endorsement

    The Laborers’ International Union of North America announced Tuesday it’s endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over local favorite Bernie Sanders.

    Clinton has struggled to gain union support throughout much of her campaign. Her primary rival Sanders was able to win over a lot of support early on, especially among local union chapters. When Biden announced Oct. 21, however, that he is not be running for president, the tides turned in favor of Clinton. Since that time, she has picked up significant momentum with the labor movement.

    “Members and leadership believe that Secretary Clinton is the right leader to move our country forward and the most qualified candidate to address the many challenges facing the United States,” Laborers’ President Terry O’Sullivan’s statement says. “Members are deeply concerned about the direction of our country and are looking for a real leader who will create good jobs, rebuild our country, and grow our economy.”

    At over a half-million members, the Laborers’ represents an assortment of blue-collar workers from across the country. It is not the biggest union endorsement Clinton was able to snag. Exactly a week before the Laborers’ endorsement, Clinton won support from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). SEIU is one of the largest unions in the entire country.

    “Secretary Clinton’s record proves that she is a tough and tested fighter for our nation and for working men and women,” O’Sullivan continues. “[We’re] eager to work with Secretary Clinton, as the next President of the United States, to help enact legislation and promote policies that provide long-term investment in America’s roads and bridges, and encourage a real all-of-the-above approach to energy development.”
    The union pledges to rally on the streets, knock on doors and make phone calls to encourage people to vote for Clinton. Unions are powerful political forces because of their ability to mobilize crowds. They also contribute heavily into political campaigns. As a result, the endorsement is a huge victory for Clinton.

    The recent wave of support wasn’t always the case. Clinton lost favor with many unionized workers for her opposition to the Keystone Pipeline and her hesitance to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Sanders is much more adamantly opposed to the trade deal while making union issues a central focus on his campaign. Though he gained a lot of support with local unions, national leaders are concerned he is not electable.

    Clinton did eventually come out against TPP after the deal was finalized. Nevertheless, it was her support for unpopular policies and the unease they have towards Sanders which prompted several national unions to delay endorsing anyone. It also got them looking more closely at Biden. The vice president had the potential to offer unions a safe middle ground between the two front-runners.
    When Biden decided not to run the wave of endorsements came flooding for Clinton. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the International Longshoremen’s Association both decided to back Clinton not long after Biden’s decision.
    Nevertheless, Sanders has gained a lot of support. Labor for Bernie holds rallies across the country in support for the Vermont-Democratic socialist. It includes several local chapters of the SEIU as well as other unions. The coalition has since condemned SEIU leadership for endorsing Clinton.
    Though the coalition consists mostly of local unions, the American Postal Workers Union, the United Electrical Workers and the National Nurses United also joined in. Former Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen is helping to lead the group.

    Clinton also secured support from The American Federation of Teachers back in July and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers back in August. Despite his own union’s hesitance toward Clinton, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent a memo to the leaders of associated unions in July telling them not to endorse Sanders.

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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