Washington (PAI) – The AFL-CIO has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.
In a much anticipated decision, the AFL-CIO formally endorsed former Secretary of State Clinton for President on June 16.
“Hillary Clinton is a proven leader who shares our values,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement after the recent leadership vote.
“Throughout the campaign, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to the issues that matter to working people, and our members have taken notice. The activism of working people has already been a major force in this election and is now poised to elect Hillary Clinton and move America forward.”
The decision from the union federation’s General Executive Board required votes from delegates representing a supermajority of the federation’s 12.5 million members. The federation did not release a vote count.
Clinton said she was honored to have earned the endorsement.
“The AFL-CIO is one of America’s most vital organizations, having been on the front lines of the fight for good-paying jobs and careers with benefits and dignity for more than a century,” she said in a statement.
The endorsement became virtually certain after Clinton won four of five primaries in early June, including California and New Jersey, clinching the number of delegates she needed to take the Democratic presidential nomination.
Before that, more than 20 AFL-CIO unions had endorsed her, compared to a handful for her remaining challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Trumka praised the “important voice” that Sanders brought to the contentious primary campaign.
Trumka said Sanders “elevated critical issues and strengthened the foundation of our movement. His impact on American politics cannot be overstated.”
The yawning gap in income between the rich and the rest of us was a centerpiece of Sanders’ campaign.
A STARK CHOICE IN NOVEMBER
AFSCME president and chair of the AFL-CIO Political Committee Lee Saunder went after Clinton’s foe, presumed GOP nominee, self-aggrandizing blowhard businessman Donald Trump.
“This election offers a stark choice between an unstoppable champion for working families and an unstable charlatan who made his fortune scamming them,” Saunders said.
“Working people know that Hillary Clinton has the temperament and experience to unite all Americans in our fight to increase incomes at home and extinguish threats abroad.”
Union leaders said the AFL-CIO was putting in motion its ground campaign “to elect Clinton and union-endorsed candidates across the country.”
The federation has been laying the groundwork for this campaign for months, and Trumka pledged a “sophisticated, targeted” campaign.
“With the dire consequences Donald Trump poses for America’s working families,” Trumka added, “it has to be.”
Clinton ran for the Democratic nomination on a pro-union, pro worker platform, telling audiences across the country that right-to-work laws, which hinder union activity, are “wrong for workers and wrong for America.”
“The American Labor Movement pioneered the basic bargain that made our country great,” Clinton said at a Detroit union event in May. “If you work hard and you do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead. So you are not just fighting for your members, you are fighting for all working families. And I am proud to be in the trenches fighting along side you.”
Trumka said the AFL-CIO stood “ready to fight hard to restore faith in America and improve the lives of all working people.
“Hillary Clinton has proven herself as a champion of the Labor Movement,” he said. “And we will be the driving force to elect her president of the United States.”
(Some information for this report from CNN and the New York Times.)