Union says ‘nada’ to Democrats

None of the Democratic presidential primary contenders will get the endorsement they’ve been fervently seeking from the Service Employees International Union, an especially painful blow to John Edwards.

The union said Monday it won’t choose a national candidate for the primary elections, underscoring divisions that had been apparent among SEIU supporters of Edwards and the Democrats he trails in national polls: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

“Any one of these candidates would help create a new American dream for workers and their families,” SEIU Secretary Treasurer Anna Burger said.

Instead of making a national endorsement, the union will let its locals make decisions state by state. And to ensure that there are no conflicts, once an SEIU local has chosen a candidate, the union’s activists from that state will be barred from campaigning in states that have chosen someone else.

“Given the importance of this election, we are encouraging members and leaders to act on their passion for the candidates and get involved on a statewide basis,” SEIU President Andy Stern said.

SEIU backing was one of the most important labor endorsements available. The organization has donated more than $25 million, mostly to Democratic candidates, since 1989.

Edwards had hoped a national SEIU endorsement would energize his campaign in the crucial early primary states. The former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee has spent considerable time the past couple of years walking picket lines, speaking out for workers’ rights and seeking labor support.

Clinton and Obama also have been working SEIU hard. The three will now intensify their efforts on the locals in early primary states, hoping to pick up a boost.

“Despite aggressive efforts by the other campaigns to stop any endorsement by SEIU, we are very pleased by the fact that we will gain endorsements of SEIU locals from across America,” Edwards spokesman Eric Schultz said. “It is a victory for the campaign as we now can mobilize the support from SEIU members who enthusiastically support John Edwards’ bold plans for real change in America.”

Instead of spending its money in a primary campaign, the international union will devote its funds to national issues until the Democrats have picked a candidate.

“We will continue to work on issues like health care, the war in Iraq and other issues while our locals decide whether they want to endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary,” SEIU spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller said.

The 1.8-million member union winnowed the Democratic field to Clinton, Obama and Edwards after the three were the clear favorites at an SEIU forum in Washington in September. The union delayed an endorsement because of the deep divisions among its members, and delayed the decision again after hearing from the candidates anew in Chicago at the Change to Win labor federation conference.

Only one of the seven Change to Win unions has endorsed a candidate; the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners endorsed Edwards earlier this year.

The nation’s largest labor federation, the AFL-CIO, also is not immediately endorsing a candidate in the Democratic primary. Instead, the AFL-CIO is leaving its 55 member unions to choose for themselves.


On the Net:

SEIU: http://www.seiu.org

Change to Win: http://www.changetowin.org


  1. Nogood

    Yeah, I am certainly blaming Reagan and if you think it is ignorance then you are revealing your lack of knowledge. From the time Reagan took office, this country started the decline from a “producing” country to a “service” economy. When Reagan took office, the US was the world’s largest creditor and when Ronnie “boy” left office, 8 years later, this country had been turned into the world’s largest debtor.

    I didnt shed a tear when Reagan passed out of time into eternity. I only said, “bye you butthole”.

  2. Sandra Price

    I think the Unions (all) have lost their influence on the voters. We all have seen too many corporations move their productions out of the country. Again a balance of management and workers should be found to keep the payrolls going at home. Foreign made products do not have to cover the costs of benefits and health coverage making our American products more expensive. Without Americans buying American products, the unions are worthless.

  3. SEAL

    The first thing I saw happen after NAFTA was signed was one of the big 3 auto manufaturers opened a plant in Mexico to produce one of our common american cars.

    The Mexican auto workers were paid $11.00 a day with no benefits. They tried to form a union and the Mexican government arrested the leaders.

  4. Nogood

    I challenge anyone to point out a politician that really believes in organized labor, they are too much “in bed” with corporate America. Oh, they might proclaim that they care about the working class but they are preaching a false gospel.

    Unions have been dying a slow death ever since Reagan started the execution in 1981.

  5. Sandra Price

    Nogood. Unions have been dying a slow death due to the competion from off shore manufacturing.

    What do the people living in poverty do without cheap merchandise? American businesses cannot afford to make cheap merchandise. The millions of Americans who invest in these corporations expect some kind of profit for their investment, would you rather have the government own the corporations?

    This is your only alternative. Set prices, set wages, set how the corporations operate. What happens to free enterprise, or is that what you want to delete?

    Reagan was a Union man for years and helped the Guilds from transportation, prop building, script writers and actors. He did not hurt the unions. Free enterprise has to be open for investors or there will be no products made in America. Corporate America pays the wages, unions do not!

  6. Nogood

    “Reagan was a Union man”

    Reagan was a pawn for corporate American! He was put into the Oval Office for one purpose, which he accomplished, he busted organized labor.

    The government got rid of Jimmy Hoffa before “deregulation” of trucking was ever proposed, because Hoffa would have shut this country down before he would allowed “deregulation”.

    Little by little the government has been cutting away the power of labor and at the present time the goal has almost been accomplished. It was through organized labor that the standard of living ever reached the level that it did. I hope that you are not so dumb that you think that the Republicans or Democrats gave us the standard of living that we achieved. It was organized labor and now we see the decline of unions, we see the decline of the standard of living.

  7. SEAL

    The only way the US could maintain that high standard of living we enjoyed after WWII until the 90’s would have been through isolationism, responsible debt control, and no imports. Low credit ceiling plus everything made in America and sold in America.

    During the 50’s 60’s and 70’s America was a middle class paradise. Then began the plan for the corporate takeover. Reagan was installed to perform his greatest role while daddy Bush went to work underneath to initiate the conditions needed for the one world corporate governing enterprise.

    In the 80’s they took over the mass media to control information and ushered in the massive consumer credit debt. Middle class America jumped into unlimited credit with both brainless feet, saddling themselves with personal debt they could never repay. Now, the “news” was corporate propaganda and the debt gun was against their heads with the hammer cocked.

    In the 90’s the manufaturing was moved off shore. America’s store became the only one the middle class could afford – red, white, and blue WallMart. Manufacturing jobs disapeared to overseas child forced labor causing the middle class creating unions to become toothless declawed lions.

    By 2000 everything was in place for the final destruction of the middle class. The Bush administration has implimented the final phase, “corporate facism.” Hitler’s blueprint has been followed to the letter including the 9/11 “excuse” for transfering all power to the executive hands.

    Now, we are a nation of corporate kings and lowly serfs. To effectively reverse it, as Hillary claims she will begin as president, would take at least 20 years. We could never turn it around sufficiently get us back to where we once were.

    Yeah, I know it’s more complicated but this was the basic plan and that is the simple explanation.

  8. bryan mcclellan

    Allow me to simplify for you Sir…What Seal said,squared and cubed….!What,and how much of this crap ,do you expect the American people to swallow?..GEORGE?

  9. justanothercoverup

    Can anyone blame the unions for refusing to back Democrats? What have they done for us, besides betray their constituents and rubber-stamp almost everything the Bush administration asks for, including expanding an illegal wiretapping program with little or no oversight? There is a solution, and working together, we can throw-off this yoke of oppression, and actually, it’s easier than it sounds. If you agree with the below video commentary, please share it with your friends and pass it around. It’s posted in multiple places, and has been accepted by four (4) video hosting sites – and so far, the response has been good!

    Only You can Help Save America

    William Cormier

  10. Sandra Price

    America was built on a balance of corporation owners and labor. To try and control either outside the free market will destroy both. Again, I’m reading a terrible socialism coming from this CHB site and somehow the bullies have won for a state of Socialism.

    America is the only nation where wealth can be attained through investments. Corporations must produce a profit or their investors will leave. What I’m reading at CHB is a desire for a redistribution of wealth and folks, that has never brought growth to anything but government.

    We need a viable group of corporations with a viable labor force. Many of us have made profits through investments and careful planning. Corporations are not the enemy of America they are the source for industrial power and meeting the wages of the people.

    You elected the wrong Republicans and Democrats because you did not take the time to learn what they wanted with the power. You will bring down the nation unless you can locate a balanced government that worked for us for over 200 years.

    Blaming Reagan is a cop out for your own ignorance.