Hillary Clinton Wins Biggest Labor Union Endorsement

AFL-CIO pledges to get out the union vote for the Democratic nominee.

Mike Blake/ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


As Hillary Clinton racked up labor endorsements over the course of the Democratic primary contest, the biggest labor federation in the country was conspicuously absent from her list of backers, having decided to remain neutral throughout the Democratic primary even as its member organizations largely flocked to the front-runner. But on Thursday, with the final votes in the Democratic primary contest now cast, the AFL-CIO’s board voted to endorse Clinton, in an effort that could help unite the party’s factions and try to win over disaffected blue-collar voters who might be attracted to Donald Trump’s protectionist message.

“The activism of working people has already been a major force in this election,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement, “and is now poised to elect Hillary Clinton and move America forward.”

It’s not surprising to see the 12.5 million-member labor federation, which has backed every Democratic candidate for president since it sat out the 1972 contest, throw its weight behind the presumptive Democratic nominee. As Politico‘s Brian Mahoney noted ahead of the vote, 80 percent of the people sitting on the AFL-CIO’s executive board, which voted on the endorsement, hailed from unions that had already thrown their support to Clinton.

Trumka gave a slight nod to Bernie Sanders in offering the endorsement, saying that his “impact on American politics cannot be overstated.”

The AFL-CIO promised to turn on its political machine immediately to start boosting Clinton. “This election offers a stark choice between an unstoppable champion for working families and an unstable charlatan who made his fortune scamming them,” Lee Saunders, the AFSCME president and chair of the AFL-CIO’s political committee, said. Though there’s been some speculation that Trump’s appeals to white working-class men might allow the Republican to attract a larger swath of union voters in states like Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, so far the national organizations haven’t shown any sign of breaking away from the Democratic candidate.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate