BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday welcomed the endorsement of the American Postal Workers Union. Representing more than 200,000 workers in all 50 states, the postal workers organization is the second major national AFL-CIO member to back Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States.
Mark Dimondstein, the union president, called Sanders “a leader in the fight to protect the public Postal Service” and “a true champion of postal workers and other workers throughout the country.” He cited Sanders fight against Postal Service plans to shutter post offices, close mail sorting facilities, end six-day mail delivery and slow down first-class mail.
The union also pointed to Sanders’ proposals to modernize the Postal Service. He’s introduced legislation to bring the mail delivery service into the 21st century by providing new services like basic banking, copying documents, shipping wine or selling hunting and fishing licenses. “Bernie Sanders is a fierce advocate of postal reform. He staunchly opposes postal privatization, and supports enhanced postal services, including postal banking,” said Dimondstein.
The postal workers union said its support for Sanders went beyond his work on Postal Service issues. “No other candidate has his record of standing with workers on picket lines, fighting for a $15 per hour minimum wage, supporting free public college tuition, and advocating for veterans’ benefits,” said Dimondstein. “And, no other candidate has his record of fighting to defend and expand Social Security, promoting ‘Medicare for all,’ and opposing ‘fast track trade authority’ and rotten trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The postal workers’ union endorsement follows support for Sanders from local union chapters in Iowa and New Hampshire, the state’s that begin the presidential nominating process next February with the first caucuses and primary election.
Larry Cohen, a senior Sanders adviser on labor issues, welcomed the endorsement. “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. We welcome the unprecedented support of the APWU executive board and look forward to working with their members across the United States,” Cohen said.
Cohen, a former president of the Communications Workers of America, also noted that the postal workers union was the second major AFL-CIO member to put its organizational muscle behind the Sanders presidential campaign. The 185,000-strong National Nurses United, another AFL-CIO member, became the first national union to back Sanders when it announced its endorsement last Aug. 10 during a meeting at its national headquarters in Oakland, California.