Elections

More Top Unions Delay Endorsing Hillary

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Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is now facing even more problems with two top unions deciding to delay endorsing any candidate, according to reports Tuesday.

The labor movement and Hillary have had an uneasy relationship throughout her campaign. Despite her being the front-runner for the Democratic Party, she has struggled to gain their support. Her main primary rival Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has had a much easier time.

Now, as confirmed by Politico, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have decided to delay endorsing anyone. The move may mean they are waiting for Vice President Joe Biden to enter the race. Unions have already been encouraging Biden to run. Some fear Sanders as an alternative to Hillary is simply not electable.

“We are determined to take the time necessary to make sure every voice is heard,” an AFSCME official told Politico.

Much of the hesitance to back Hillary stems from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The trade deal is currently being negotiated by President Barack Obama and 11 other Pacific nations. Unions have put pressure on Hillary to take a firm stance against it.

After a long delay, all unions got from her was a request for the president to work better with Democratic lawmakers. Unions claim the deal will benefit corporations and special interests. This at the expense of working Americans and the environment.

The SEIU and AFSCME are not the first major unions to delay endorsing anyone. Back in July, the AFL-CIO did as well. Hillary has only been able to gain some traction with unions, with most either endorsing Sanders or holding off their support altogether.

The lack of support could have significant repercussions for Hillary. Unions have a considerable amount of political influence. They also tend to contribute significantly to Democratic campaigns. Beyond just money, unions are able to rally people.

Despite all that, Hillary has been able to hold her lead. According to polls, though, Sanders is quickly narrowing the gap.

Even so, some within the labor movement have already given up on her. Labor for Bernie argues the Vermont socialist is the best candidate for working Americans. The group has held rallies across the country and signed on a few national unions and many smaller locals.

Former Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen is helping to lead the group. Cohen, a long time influential union leader, announced his support for Sanders in July. Though many local unions were already backing him, Cohen became the first major national leader to do so.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, however, has warned against endorsing Sanders. In early June he sent a memo to the leaders of associated unions telling them not to endorse Sanders.

Despite not yet demonstrating a strong position on trade, Hillary has still tried in other ways to court unions. She prominently showed off union-made gear in May during the official launch of her online campaign shop, and she urged people to stand firmly for unions during a speech in Chicago.

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