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Unions Hesitant To Endorse Andrew Cuomo

Yet another major labor union has declined to endorse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ahead of the Democratic primary.

The 2.5 million-member New York chapter of the AFL-CIO is taking a pass on endorsing Cuomo despite originally supporting him during his first run for governor in 2010, The Legislative Gazette reported Tuesday.

The AFL-CIO decision comes right after the New York State United Teachers and the Public Employee Federation (PEF) also decided against endorsing Cuomo. PEF went so far as to endorse Cuomo’s primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout.

PEF was also a union who originally endorsed Cuomo back in 2010 in the hopes he would reduce the number of private, non-union consultants working in New York.

PEF President Kenneth Brynien said at the time, “Our members working in the state Department of Law have found state Attorney General Cuomo supportive of PEF’s efforts to save the taxpayers’ money by reducing the state’s reliance on costly private consultants. We expect Mr. Cuomo to continue to reduce the state’s reliance on consultants when he becomes governor.”

This time around, PEF is looking elsewhere for leadership.

“PEF is a very democratic union and today is a testament of that,” PEF President Susan M. Kent  declared in a recent statement “This union has taken a bold step to endorse Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu. They are the leadership this state needs, that public workers need, and that the citizens of the state of New York deserve.”

“The Public Employees Federation endorsement is an act of courage and bravery by workers who have a lot at stake,” Teachout’s campaign manager has been quoted as saying. “Today, they rose above the culture of fear that is pervasive in Albany under Gov. Cuomo. The governor and his old boys club better watch out, this challenge is serious and it isn’t going away.”

Despite the union discontent, Cuomo is a heavy favorite for reelection. He secured the pro-labor Working Families Party ballot line earlier this year.

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