Late last night Secretary Hillary Clinton received two major union endorsements. Clinton said she was “honored to receive the endorsement” from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the United Steelworkers. The Steelworkers endorsement came in conjunction with the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and the Glass Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union (GMP).
“The choice America faces this November is now clear. As a senator, Hillary Clinton has stood with us, and the labor movement more than 90 percent of time, from opposing right-to-work laws to supporting federal project labor agreements. Secretary Clinton has vowed to invest in our industrial and energy infrastructure and push for stronger enforcement of labor law, including cracking down on wage theft that is all too common in the construction industry,” said International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Lonnie R. Stephenson.
“As a president of the largest union in the electrical industry, I want someone in the White House who will make it easier, not harder, for working families to come together and speak up for themselves. A president who is committed to raising wages, boosting retirement security and making it easier for working parents to raise their families – and has the legislative record to back it up. And I want a president who is committed to appointing justices who will not overturn our hard-fought for rights on the job,” added Stephenson.
“Given her vast experience both with foreign and domestic policy, Hillary Clinton is a supremely qualified candidate, one of the most qualified candidates ever to seek the presidency,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “These unique qualifications give her the vision and commitment necessary to continue to lead this country forward.”
“Secretary Clinton has promised to fight for fair, not just free trade, and has vowed to oppose the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” added Gerard. “She will fight for collective bargaining rights and labor protections, as well as high standards for domestic sourcing and ‘Buy American’ laws.
“On virtually every issue, Secretary Clinton stands with working Americans and their families,” said UWUA President Mike Langford. “Specifically, she has a plan to harness public and private capital to upgrade and repair our nation’s roads, bridges, energy and water infrastructure, expand public transportation, and bring our schools and our communications networks fully into the 21st century. These critical investments will grow our economy by creating and maintaining good jobs, raising wages and rebuilding struggling communities.”
“Secretary Clinton believes in raising the minimum wage, which will not only improve the lives of millions of low-wage workers, but in fact lift the standard for all working Americans. She supports tax relief to help struggling families. She is committed to closing tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy to make sure every American pays their fair share,” added the Steelworkers.
After receiving the endorsement, Secretary Clinton praised the work done by the hard working men and women of the USW and IBEW.
“For more than 100 years, the IBEW has kept the lights on in America’s homes and businesses and enabled Americans to communicate with each other from coast to coast. They have powered the American economy, and along the way they have helped build the American middle class.”
“Steel is crucial to our economy, our manufacturing base, and our national security. As President, I will stand with the USW in the fight to protect workers’ fundamental rights to organize, to bargain collectively, to stay safe on the job and retire with dignity. As a Senator from New York, I stood with steelworkers against efforts to undermine the competitiveness of American steel. And as President, I will throw the book at China and stop their illegal efforts to dump cheap steel in U.S. markets,” Clinton stated.
“And together, we will fight to make the kinds of investments that make America’s economy grow for workers everywhere,” continued Clinton. “We’ll make the biggest investment in infrastructure since Dwight Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System, and make sure that we’re buying American materials to build America’s infrastructure. We’ll invest in manufacturing, because we can and we will make things in America.”
“Above all, we will make sure American workers have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House. Because when workers are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong,” concluded Clinton.
The endorsements came just days after Clinton won the majority of the delegates in the Democratic primary. Both the Steelworkers and the IBEW praised Senator Bernie Sanders for his dedication to labor and his “contribution to the campaign.”
“I want to thank Sen. Bernie Sanders for his numerous contributions to the campaign. He raised issues of major importance to working families and stood with our members when times were tough. I look forward to working with him in the years to come in the fight for fairness for the middle class,” said Stephenson.
“Like Secretary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has also been a lifelong supporter of working Americans, and he has run a strong, principled campaign that has raised awareness of critical issues and energized millions of Americans,” said Gerard. “He clearly sees how corporate-fed Republican economics fatten the coffers of Wall Street, while denying young people and families the opportunities they deserve.
“The USW salutes Sen. Sanders’ lifelong commitment to social and economic justice. He and his supporters must play a vital role in pushing the issues he raised and that his supporters are so passionately fighting for. They must continue to be front and center in this campaign, and we need them to continue to push Sanders’ agenda and have their voices heard on Election Day and beyond. We must work together to defeat Trump,” Gerard added.
The Steelworkers also took this opportunity blast the Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“By contrast, Secretary Clinton’s Republican opponent has seemingly worked at every turn to divide Americans along lines of race, ethnicity and gender with his racist, sexist and xenophobic statements.”
“Besides just his dangerous and un-American rhetoric, Trump has consistently proven to be on the side of the wealthy and powerful, rather than on the side of working people. Trump believes workers’ wages are too high and supports union-busting legislation. His tax plan would benefit millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class. He supports efforts to repeal the ACA but has no concrete plan to replace it.”
“Nothing better exemplifies Trump’s say-one-thing-do-another approach to the plight of workers than his treatment of the 500 hotel workers at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas who voted last December to join the Culinary Workers Union. Trump refuses to bargain with them, even after more than a dozen objections filed with the NLRB were either withdrawn or dismissed, and the union was certified as a bargaining agent.”
“On the one issue on which workers might agree with Trump, trade, he has proven himself a hypocrite. He criticizes companies for moving production overseas while his own signature line of clothing is produced in low-wage countries like China, Mexico, Honduras and Bangladesh. He just can’t be trusted,” the Steelworkers concluded.
Read the full endorsement from the USW, here.
Read the full endorsement from the IBEW, here.