At an event in Concord, NH today, local and statewide labor leaders endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.
Sen. Sanders was introduced by Dennis Beaudoin, president of the IBEW Local 490, Janice Kelble of the American Postal Workers Union in New Hampshire and Chris Peck, vice president of the Service Employees International Union Local 560 in Hanover. The New Hampshire postal workers and two local trade unions endorsed Sen. Sanders.
Sanders expressed his pride in the support of the unions:
They understand that at a time when the middle class of this country continues to disappear, we need an economy that works for the middle class and not just the top 1 percent.
Instead of giving tax breaks to millionaires and large corporations, we need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create millions of decent-paying jobs,” Sanders added.
Instead of having trade policies that send American jobs to China, corporate America has got to re-invest in this country and create decent-paying jobs in America.
Over the summer, Gallup found that approval of labor unions has jumped to a five-year high. President Obama has taken executive actions to raise overtime wages for millions of workers, but there is so much more to be done.
One of the most beneficial elements of having Bernie Sanders as a candidate for the Democratic nomination is that he is a candidate who discusses labor issues regularly on the campaign trail. One of the complaints of the labor movement is that they feel like Democrats ignore them until they need their votes.
Sanders is giving labor a voice in the primary, and unions are rewarding his decades of support by standing behind him in 2016. The 2016 Democratic primary has benefitted from having a wide variety of issues discussed. At a time when an opportunity exists for unions to help rebuild the middle class, it is important that labor has a voice in the 2016 election.
Bernie Sanders is giving the concerns of labor a voice in 2016.