Bernie Bits: National Postal Workers Union Endorses Sanders | Off Message

Bernie Bits: National Postal Workers Union Endorses Sanders

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won his second national labor endorsement Thursday. The 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union announced it would support his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Calling Sanders "a leader in the fight to protect the public Postal Service," APWU president Mark Dimondstein cited Sanders' opposition to the privatization of the service, his support for six-day delivery and his efforts to keep post offices and mail facilities open. 

“We should judge candidates not by their political party, not by what they say, not by what we think they stand for, but by what they do," Dimondstein said in a written statement. "Applying that criterion, Sen. Bernie Sanders stands above all others as a true champion of postal workers and other workers throughout the country. He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk."

Though Sanders has long championed the labor movement, its leaders have been slow to embrace his presidential campaign. Prior to Thursday's announcement, the 185,000-member National Nurses United had been the sole national union to back his bid. Sanders has drawn support from other local and state unions. 

Meanwhile, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has picked up endorsements from several of the largest unions in the country: the 3 million-member National Education Association; the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers.

Nevertheless, a senior labor adviser to Sanders' campaign, Larry Cohen, said in a written statement that the postal workers are among the most active trade unionists in the country and would provide a real boost to Sanders' campaign.

“APWU is everywhere there is a post office and their 250,000 members are way at the top when it comes to member involvement and union democracy," said Cohen, a former president of the Communications Workers of America. "We welcome the unprecedented support of the APWU executive board and look forward to working with their members across the United States."

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