With SEIU Labor Endorsement, Clinton Looks Golden

For much of the Democratic primary, labor unions have stayed on the sidelines. Some were waiting for Vice President Joe Biden’s decision on whether he would enter the race. Others felt like Hillary Clinton just didn’t have what it takes to be a true advocate for the working class.

The situation has evolved this week.

Despite Bernie Sanders’ history of being a standard bearer for labor, Clinton has received the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU is the most recent large labor group to back the former New York senator, boasting a national membership of around 2 million.

The president of SEIU stated: “Hillary Clinton has proven she will fight, deliver and win for working families.” In spite of these comments, there are marked differences between the policy positions of the SEIU and the Clinton campaign.

A point of contest highlighted in last weekend’s Democratic debate was how much to raise the minimum wage. Clinton has specified a $12/hour federal minimum wage with higher minimums for larger urban centers. This is in contrast to Bernie Sanders’ pledge to raise the wage to $15/hour.



The SEIU has been a strong proponent of raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, an identical position to Sanders. So why did the SEIU and other unions decided to support the Clinton over Sanders?

Clinton has received endorsements from the two main teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, which together have around 4.6 million members. She also has the endorsement of the 1.5+ million strong American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as well as others.

Sanders, conversely, has been hard pressed to find strong support among the large unions. He has been endorsed by National Nurses United and the Postal Workers Union, which together have less than 500,000 members.

The apprehension shown by many unions to endorse Sanders may be a result of similar reasoning to that of many progressive voters. They say Sanders represents their views more accurately than Clinton, but worry he can't win.

While he is hard on the banks, Clinton is more measured on the issue of Wall Street. While he has always been against the TPP and TTIP, she has changed her mind over time. Most starkly, Sanders’ $15/hour minimum wage position is one held by unions that have thrown their support behind Clinton.

However, they are also voting for someone to take on the Republican nominee, and Sanders is probably too far left and too prone to be labeled a “socialist,” a term many Americans don't understand and consequently, avoid.

More to the point politically, Clinton is widely believed to have sewn up the Democratic nomination.

1 comment about "With SEIU Labor Endorsement, Clinton Looks Golden".
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  1. Aldo Bender from SmartSystems Media Group, November 20, 2015 at 7:45 a.m.

    Oh yeah, she is looking real golden there buddy! A corrupt, whinging, gasbag in a mumu pantsuit hybrid is exactly what labor needs. Organized Labor is old and currupt too, what a pair! Trump is a joke also, can't the country do any better?

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