Bernie Sanders has picked up a key endorsement as one of the nation’s most influential labor leaders has announced his support for the Democratic presidential candidate.
The Sanders campaign made the announcement in a statement:
In another show of union support for Bernie Sanders, one of the nation’s most influential labor leaders on Friday endorsed the Democratic Party presidential candidate.
Larry Cohen, the past president of the Communications Workers of America, gave his backing to Sanders at a news conference held here in a local union hall.
“This is not a close call,” Cohen said at the news conference. “This is a guy who for his entire life has been there for working people.”
“I am proud to have the support of Larry Cohen and so many workers in the American trade union movement,” Sanders said. “They know we need an economy that works for the middle class and not just the wealthy.”
Sanders and Cohen were joined by members from other labor groups including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the Iron Workers Union, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, National Nurses United, the International Association of Firefighters, the American Postal Workers Union and 75 others.
Cohen’s endorsement was significant because it came on the heels of a Politico report that AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka was working behind the scenes to squash the growing momentum among union members for Bernie Sanders.
The appeal of Bernie Sanders is natural for members of the labor movement who feel like establishment Democrats have not made their concerns a priority.
What is happening is that individuals who have felt ignored are using their support for Bernie Sanders to get their voices heard.
The message to the Democratic leadership is that they are not going to be able to silence the Sanders supporters. Labor is rallying behind Sanders as it is beginning to look Democratic voters may be treated to a competitive primary campaign.