U.S. postal workers union backs Sanders’ presidential bid

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in North Las Vegas
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in North Las Vegas, Nevada November 8, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker

November 12, 2015

By Luciana Lopez and Amanda Becker

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. postal workers union on Thursday endorsed Bernie Sanders in his bid for the White House, delivering a boost to the Vermont senator’s underdog campaign against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The American Postal Workers Union, which represents more than 200,000 postal service workers and retirees, praised Sanders as a champion of workers. It is the second national union to endorse him.

“Politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the union, citing efforts by Sanders to keep post offices and mail facilities open amid budget cuts.

“He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk,” Dimondstein said of Sanders, who has suggested that post offices could play a role in providing modest banking services such as savings accounts and check cashing in some areas.

The endorsement gives Sanders a greater foothold within the AFL-CIO, the influential labor federation that includes 56 unions. But it will not necessarily lead to backing from other unions, prized for their ability to get members to the polls.

Clinton still has a commanding lead in the race for labor support, having won endorsements from a dozen unions with about 8 million members, including AFSCME, the public employees union, and the American Federation of Teachers.

Sanders also was endorsed in August by National Nurses United, which represents about 185,000 members.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has battled perceptions that Clinton would be more electable in the November 2016 election. Clinton, the former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state, also enjoys longstanding ties with many national labor leaders.

Labor for Bernie, a volunteer group of union activists working to nominate Sanders, has sought to slow or even halt the flow of Clinton endorsements by national unions so labor leaders have more time to evaluate Sanders.

On Thursday, several members of Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, wrote to their union chief and international executive board members asking them to hold off on presidential endorsements ahead of the Democratic primaries beginning in February.

“It would not be the end of the world to endorse Sanders, or allow locals to go their own way in the primaries, or to sit out the primaries altogether,” the SEIU members wrote.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by Bill Trott and Alan Crosby)

  • TP

    Needs to be privatized! One of many Federal Government depts. that need to go Education, EPA, IRS, HUD, BLM,
    Federal OSHA, Dept. of Indian affairs, There are 430 departments in the Federal Gov. (really) most of which are duplicated in every state. I am for States rights and individual freedom……has the Federal Government given us any of that. NO but they take it away everyday………. Where is there a successfully run city or State run by a Liberal Democrat
    The Federal Government is out ofd control……

  • gb

    The postal service is a joke. Set up collection boxes nearby and do away with door to door delivery. It just doesn’t make money. People can have their own private postal box to pick up their mail weekly. I live in a semi rural area, and it’s mind blowing that we have delivery to farmers out in the middle of nowhere. Sure, there was a time when this was necessary, but I think that time passed when UPS and FedEx took the good profitable business away from the Postal Service. They’re nothing more than a money sucking gov’t entity, that can’t even break even, let alone be self sustaining. They need management to make large, swift changes to not go bankrupt or rely on another bailout by the taxpayers courtesy of our government.

  • BTW

    Of course the postal union supports him.The US Postal service is the most inept,incompetent government agency we have,the only business that loses billions of dollars a year,and keeps operating,while postal employees enjoy the highest wages,and best benefits in the country.When unions were created many years ago,they were a good thing,however over the years they have morphed into political entities,and aupport the liberal democratic agenda.Union members have money taken out of their weekly dues ,which is to be used by the union for political puposes,which is unfair if you are a Republican,because unions always support the democratic cause,and the union member has no say in where the money goes.Unions love democrats and democrats love unions.As a union member for 19 years,I never really needed their help,since I had a good work ethic,and enjoyed working,the only people I saw getting help from the union were lazy bums who called out sick,and showed up late to work.BTW

  • sickofitall

    Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a need for unions. Unions are now just another political, corrupt organization. Unions are not needed anymore. Unions have and are destroying this country. Unions believe that once a person retires, there pay should be equal to a 40 hours week. Only an idiot would believe a company can pay retirees their normal salary as well has hire a new employee to take their place.

  • j

    Mail should be delivered once a week by a private sector company… USPS federal union and losing money EVERY year!

  • Mixxy

    Why does the USPS need unionized labor, anyway? That just sounds ridiculous.

  • chris m

    Right on, Lonnie ! I am a member of a union, and will say that many of us will NOT ever vote for one of these morons for any office. The ones that did, for the destroyer of America, are now silently whining about the paychecks being robbed, shaking their heads wondering why they feel abandoned. We ARE the piece of a silent majority who will and always have voted for people we thought could get the USA going in a strong direction. bernie or clinton would indeed represent a continuation of the destruction of America. For my fellow union members who still think nobama and like company are great leaders, SHAME ON YOU !

  • Lonnie

    “Politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution,”

    True, but NOT a socialist revolution. History has already proved the wrongness of that.

    I’m not the least bit surprised that a union backs a socialist. After all….they’re the very same thing.
    I fully expect more of the thug labor organizations to come out of their socialist closets and finally embrace their Marxist selves they have denied for so long.