Elections

Nurses Union Unites Against Hillary Clinton

REUTERS/Jim Young

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A major union of nurses is preparing to use the Democratic national convention to fight party front-runner Hillary Clinton, favoring her rival Bernie Sanders instead, according to Tuesday reports.

National Nurses United (NNU) is the largest union of registered nurses in the country at 185,000 members. It is also one of the biggest unions to endorse Sanders, who has lagged behind Clinton throughout the election. The union hopes to wield its political influence during the Democratic National Convention to help Sanders win the nomination.

“[It] has been a huge disappointment,” NNU Co-President Malinda Markowitz told The Wall Street Journal. “They just assumed that people are going to follow what they think is right. And that’s not happening because it’s clear that Bernie is the choice of the people, it really is.”

Clinton only needs 71 delegated to secure the nomination, compared to Sanders who is 838 away. NNU has 150 nurses planning to attend the convention as delegates in support of Sanders. The convention will be held in Philadelphia between July 25 and 28.

Sanders has done a lot to advance union causes but has struggled to gain support from national labor leaders. He won support early on from local unions but Clinton has dominated national support. Some union leaders expressed doubt early on about whether he was electable.

Sanders introduced a bill in July designed to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and has advocated for mandatory union dues. Sanders was also adamantly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which union leaders have denounced as a corporate giveaway. Clinton in contrast was hesitant to oppose TPP and has been unclear about her stance on the minimum wage.

The former secretary of state originally said the federal minimum wage should not exceed $12 an hour but supported states that choose to go higher. Clinton said during the Democratic debate Apr. 14 that she meant the $12 mark to be a step towards eventually reaching $15 an hour. Clinton has also opposed government single-payer healthcare, which NNU supports.

Sanders has still won support from some national unions besides NNU. He won his biggest union endorsement Dec. 17 from the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Former CWA President Larry Cohen is now leading the coalition Labor for Bernie, which consists mostly of local unions that support Sanders.

The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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