Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton barely gave credit for her Democratic primary wins Tuesday to union mobilization, but a major union is taking credit anyways.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) claimed the victory was due to mobilizing efforts by its members. Labor unions do have a substantial amount of political influence and the SEIU is one of the biggest. Clinton, however, noted the labor movement only once during her victory speech when she commented about unionized plumbers going out to the polls for her.
“SEIU members are on fire for Clinton, turning out in record numbers to get out the vote with an unprecedented coalition of labor and progressive allies,” SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry said in a statement. “Our members are more motivated than ever to get involved, and beat the tide of extremism and hate by delivering Clinton to the White House.”
Henry noted wages, affordable healthcare, immigration and racial justice as a few critical reasons why people support Clinton. She also bashed Republicans for running what she argues are hate-filled campaigns.
Clinton wasn’t as enthused with the SEIU.
“There’s another story in Flint,” Clinton said during her victory speech. “It’s a story of a community that’s been knocked down, but refused to be knocked out. It is hundreds of union plumbers coming from across the country to help install new water fixtures. It’s students raising funds for water deliveries and showing up to distribute supplies.”
Clinton also commended the United Auto Workers and General Motors for donating millions to help revolve the Flint water crisis. Beyond that there was no further mention about how unions helped her win. The SEIU decided Nov. 17 to endorse Clinton and her run for the presidency. It has since remained the largest union to endorse her at two million members.
The SEIU has done a lot to encourage voters to support her, including misrepresenting her policy stances. SEIU Nevada sent out a flyer last month touting her support for the $15 minimum wage. The flyer left out that she actually opposes the federal minimum wage exceeding $12 an hour and believes anything more should be decided by the states. The union has since said it wasn’t its intention to misrepresent her policy stance.
Her primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders in contrasts actually supports the national $15 minimum wage. He has been much more aligned with the labor movement on major policies. National union leaders, though, have moved to support Clinton anyways. Her biggest wave of endorsements came after Vice President Joe Biden decided to not join the race.
The AFL-CIO is one of the few remaining national unions to have not yet made an endorsement. It decided for a second time last month to delay endorsing anyone for president. The AFL-CIO was not the only national union to delay an endorsement but it remains one of the few to continuing doing so.
The Clinton campaign and the SEIU did not respond to request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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