Labor for Bernie 2016
Press Release

For immediate release: June 25, 2015
For more information, contact: or call Joe Jurczak 410-798-1802; Steve Early 617-930-7327; or Stewart Acuff; 202-701-0180

Over 1,000 local union leaders and members back Bernie Sanders for President!

Grassroots labor initiative urges Democratic primary support for Sanders by AFL-CIO and national unions

Over 1,000 union activists from around the country today kicked off Labor for Bernie 2016.
Initiated by trade unionists who have worked closely with Senator Sanders for many years, the Labor for Bernie network includes elected officers, shop stewards, organizers, and rank-and-file members from all 50 states and 57 different labor organizations.
More than a third of these Sanders supporters belong to building trades' unions, (with 137 coming from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers alone).  Other unions that showed significant membership support for Sanders’ presidential campaign include the Communications Workers of America, American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union, International Union of Operating Engineers, United Auto Workers, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
This diverse group of labor activists signed an on-line statement embracing Sanders as the only declared candidate, in either major party, "who challenges the billionaires who are trying to steal our pensions, our jobs, our homes, and what's left of our democracy."  The entire list of union supporters may be viewed on the new Labor for Bernie website at
With more endorsers signing up every day, the Labor for Bernie network is urging the AFL-CIO, its affiliated national unions, and major unaffiliated labor organizations (NEA, SEIU, and IBT) to sponsor candidate forums and debates, at the grassroots level, before making any presidential endorsement decision of their own.
Labor for Bernie supporters include union members in key primary states (their union affiliation are listed only for identification purposes).
"Telephone workers in New England know Bernie well because he has walked our picket lines and supported our organizing efforts for years," said Don Trementozzi, president of CWA Local 1400, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "In our union's recent campaign against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Bernie was not on the fence—he was helping us lead the fight against a job-killing trade bill backed by Democrats and Republicans alike."
"We need a presidential candidate willing to confront big money and its corrupting influence on American politics," said Steve Abbott, president of CWA Local 7108 in Waterloo and head of the CWA's Iowa state council. "That kind of leadership is not going to come from someone trying to raise a billion dollars from Wall Street banks and other business interests. We need a voice of our own, not an echo of the Republicans."
"Bernie is running on a record of real accomplishment for workers, farmers, veterans, and millions of other blue-collar Americans," said Erin McKee, President of the South Carolina AFL-CIO.  "But here's the real difference between him and all the rest: he's the candidate who truly believes in the power of grassroots organizing.  Bernie has been to South Carolina over the past few years and some of our members got the chance to see that first hand when he met not only with labor unions but with the fast food workers fighting for $15 an hour and a union."
"I think everyone is just sick and tired of hearing promises from politicians who say they'll fight 100 percent for people but then act for Wall Street," said Mari Cordes, an RN from the University of Vermont Medical Center and Vice President of Healthcare for AFT-Vermont.  "Bernie Sanders has never strayed from his working class roots. Not only has he been true to his word in Vermont for the last 35 years, he has rallied real hope across the country—as a four-term mayor, eight-term Congressman, and now two-term U.S. Senator.  I stand strong for Bernie for President in 2016."
"The reason I support Senator Sanders is simple: Bernie has a long track record of supporting workers and their right to unionize," said John Murphy, a Carpenter's Local 40 steward from Lowell, Mass. "Just recently he was standing with FairPoint workers on their picket lines and offering them aid and support. When members ask me if Bernie can win, I tell them, that's up to us!"
Labor for Bernie 2016 is a volunteer effort neither funded nor directed by the Sanders for President campaign. To join this grassroots mobilization, download useful organizing materials, or learn more about Bernie's past and present support for workers and their unions, go to:

We are union leaders, organizers and labor activists committed to building a broad, effective movement for democratic change. While we come from different unions and backgrounds, our goal is a government that carries out the will of the people, not prop up the profits of the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.

To that end, we support Bernie Sanders to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Senator Sanders has a long-standing commitment to union principles and labor’s values and we stand firmly behind him as the strongest candidate who will articulate our issues. Sanders is the bold, pro-worker alternative.

As a truly progressive candidate for the Democratic Party nomination, Senator Sanders has the chance to inspire millions of Americans with policy proposals that put the interests of the 99%, front and center. His campaign will draw attention to what unions and collective bargaining have accomplished for workers and energize our movement.

Franklin D. Roosevelt called out the “economic royalists” of his day; Senator Sanders is picking up the banner. He is the only candidate who clearly challenges the billionaires at the very top who not only stole our pensions, our jobs, our homes, but now are dismantling our democracy. He answers to “We the People” and not to the corporate and financial sectors or members of the privileged elite. Bernie brings the kind of leadership that is necessary to build a real, living democracy and a prosperous sustainable economy.

Labor must step up to change the direction of American politics. We need politics to focus on the issues of our time: growing inequality and pervasive racism, the power of concentrated wealth and its corruption of our democracy, an escalating pension and retirement security crisis, runaway military spending and a militarized foreign policy, Medicare for All, and the need for new, bold solutions to our shared problems.

Labor for Bernie 2016 won’t be a corporate-style, staff-driven, top-down campaign. It will reflect our commitment to creating fundamental change and the urgency of stronger grassroots organizing and political activity.

We call on labor leaders, union members and working people to unite behind Bernie Sanders for a voice in the presidential political process and to elect the President working families need – a President who will answer to the 99 percent!

We are Labor for Bernie 2016. Join the political revolution today!