SEIU, IBEW Locals in New Hampshire Announce Bernie Sanders Endorsement

Mario Vasquez October 23, 2015

(Miller Center / Flickr)

A pair of union locals in New Hamp­shire, home to the first pri­ma­ry of the 2016 elec­tion cycle, endorsed Ver­mont Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders as their can­di­date for pres­i­dent this week.

On Wednes­day, the Inter­na­tion­al Broth­er­hood of Elec­tri­cal Work­ers (IBEW) Local Union 490 endorsed Sanders, with local exec­u­tive Denis Beau­doin say­ing that mem­bers at meet­ings spoke over­whelm­ing­ly in favor of the endorse­ment due to the candidate’s pro­gres­sive views on labor. Accord­ing to a state­ment released by the Senator’s cam­paign, Beau­doin says the close to 500 elec­tri­cal work­ers that make up the union know they have a cham­pi­on” with Sanders in the race.

Also ear­li­er in the week, Ser­vice Employ­ees Inter­na­tion­al Union (SEIU) Local 560, which rep­re­sents 500 cus­to­di­al, main­te­nance, and din­ing ser­vice work­ers most­ly at Dart­mouth Col­lege, endorsed Sanders. Local pres­i­dent Earl Sweet says, Sen. Sanders has always stood up for work­ers and the mid­dle class, here in New Hamp­shire and across the coun­try, which is why we’re proud to give him our enthu­si­as­tic endorsement.”

The Sanders cam­paign has expand­ed its phys­i­cal foot­print in New Hamp­shire over the course of the past few months, open­ing numer­ous field offices in the state for a grow­ing staff. The two endorse­ments should pro­vide Sanders with fur­ther sup­port and orga­niz­ing for a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty race that remains dead­locked in local polls.

Julia Barnes, cur­rent head of the Sanders cam­paign in New Hamp­shire says, Com­ing right on the heels of an endorse­ment from IBEW 490, today’s announce­ment shows this cam­paign is gath­er­ing momen­tum every day, and well on its way to build­ing the crit­i­cal mass of sup­port we’ll need in February.”

Nation­al­ly, Sanders most recent major union endorse­ment came last week when the Nation­al Union of Health­care Work­ers announced their deci­sion before the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party’s Octo­ber 13 debate.

As a demo­c­ra­t­ic, mem­ber-led union, I am grate­ful for the sup­port of the Nation­al Union of Health­care Work­ers,” Sanders said in a state­ment react­ing to the NUHW endorse­ment. With their sup­port and the sup­port of hun­dreds of thou­sands of union mem­bers across the coun­try, we are build­ing a polit­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion that will trans­form Amer­i­can politics.”

SEIU’s inter­na­tion­al union is wide­ly expect­ed to endorse Hillary Clin­ton in the near future. But with­in the union, a fierce bat­tle has tak­en place between Clin­ton and Sanders sup­port­ers, with hun­dreds of union mem­bers and lead­ers sign­ing onto a Labor for Bernie” open let­ter and call­ing for their union not to make an ear­ly endorse­ment of Clinton. 

Mario Vasquez is a writer from south­ern Cal­i­for­nia. He is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to Work­ing In These Times. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @mario_vsqz or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)/*= 0)out += unescape(l[i].replace(/^\s\s*/, &#’));while ( – j >= 0)if (el[j].getAttribute(‘data-eeEncEmail_JkRTuBCpnw’))el[j].innerHTML = out;/*]]>*/.
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