Hillary Clinton prominently showed off union-made gear in the Tuesday launch of her online campaign shop in an apparent attempt to win over hesitant labor groups.
Since the beginning of her campaign, Hillary has struggled to form a solid relationship with unions which, for the most part, have been slow to officially endorse her over some lingering political issues. Now, in what appears to be her latest effort to win support, her new online campaign store is prominently displaying everything from “union made in America” bumper stickers to “union printed” shirts.
Unions wield considerable political influence and are some of the most generous contributors during campaigns, especially to Democrats. As such, an endorsement from organized labor could help Hillary tremendously against her opponents. Nevertheless, as NBC News points out, much of the hesitance by unions is likely due to her reluctance to fully commit to their priorities like opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“And now, this story threatens to grow in scale, with Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said during an April speech. “We are rebelling against corporate-written free trade agreements—and we are succeeding. The TPP is the latest example of a long-term approach to trade that, starting with NAFTA, was designed to drive wages down, create special rights for corporations and export jobs.”
“Working people, together, are rising,” Trumka continued. “The question is, will our candidates listen? Will they seize this opportunity? I wonder, and so do the vast majority of working Americans. The truth is we’re skeptical.”
Last week, the Senate passed a fast-track measure which is now to be decided by the House. If passed, the president could submit a finalized trade deal to Congress, like TPP, which could not be amended or filibustered and would only need a straight up or down vote to pass.
Hillary, however, has been more apprehensive in opposing the deal. As Bloomberg noted, Hillary is waiting to see what kind of labor and environmental protections will be included before she decides whether to support or reject it.
Even without the wave of endorsements, unions have been very generous to Hillary, including donating to her charitable group The Clinton Foundation, which has been the center of controversy as of recently.
According to documents from Department of Labor, which were obtained by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRB), organized labor gave at least $2,034,500 to the Foundation. The charitable group, which has broken an earlier promise to publish all of its donors, has been criticized as being nothing more than a slush fund for the Clintons. Additionally some have criticized Hillary for making favorable deals with foreign entities in return for donations to the foundation.
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