Sanders Scores Biggest Union Endorsement of His Campaign
Bernie Sanders is flying high. On Thursday, the American Postal Workers Union, totaling 200,000 members, endorsed Sanders and his bid for president.
“Politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution,” said postal union President Mark Dimondstein in a statement. “We should judge candidates not by their political party, not by what they say, not by what we think they stand for, but by what they do.”
Dimondstein said Sanders “stands above all others as a true champion of postal workers and other workers throughout the country. He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk.”
One issue that won the union over: Sanders’ backing of postal union reform and opposition to postal privatization.
Sanders’ campaign welcomed the endorsement on Thursday.
“APWU is everywhere there is a post office and their 250,000 members are way at the top when it comes to member involvement and union democracy,” said Larry Cohen, Sanders’ senior adviser on labor issues. “We welcome the unprecedented support of the APWU executive board and look forward to working with their members across the United States.”
In the Democratic primary process, national union endorsements bring money and organization to what can be a grind-it-out political process. After the American Federation of Teachers endorsed Clinton, their members — sporting blue shirts emblazoned in their logo and the Clinton logo — were seen across the country. Same, too, for the National Nurses United, Sanders’ first national union endorsement.
The postal workers backing comes at a time when Sanders’ aides were growing somewhat weary of the union support Clinton was winning.
Related: Bernie Sanders scores nurses union endorsement
“Given his life-long commitment and continued commitment to the organized labor moment, we would like to have as many organized labor endorsements as we could get,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager said on Wednesday, before the postal endorsement was announced. “Sen. Sanders has been standing by unions when the cameras aren’t there. People know that. That word of mouth goes through the union membership.”
Weaver, disparaging the way national unions don’t always match what their members want, added, “Washington has a certain culture and people in Washington are not always in sync with the people down below.”
Photo credit: Reuters.