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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 18, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 51
Hillary wins a poll, Bernie wins a big union endorsement
Section One
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Hillary wins a poll, Bernie wins a big union endorsement

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Although Hillary Clinton holds a 33-point lead in the latest national opinion poll, Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, has won the endorsement of a major private-sector union.

On December 17, the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced its support for Sanders.

In a press conference at the union's D.C. headquarters, Sanders said workers were falling even further behind despite gains in productivity.

'Workers all around the country, they're producing more,' Sanders said. 'But are they gaining the benefits of that increased productivity? The answer is no.'

Sanders said that if he were president, he would push for a law to make it easier to unionize, raise the minimum wage, and fight trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

'Everybody in this room knows the American people are angry and frustrated, and they have every reason in the world,' he said.

CWA President Chris Shelton said his executive board had polled the union membership, who voted 'decisively' for Sanders.

'An endorsement coming from me or our executive board alone would have been an empty endorsement,' Shelton said.

According to Reuters, Sanders was asked if his campaign would have more labor endorsements if other unions had a similar process to CWA's.

'I think the answer is yes,' he replied. 'What we are seeing is a lot of grassroots support in union after union throughout this country. What I would have hoped is that unions that believe in democracy would have done what CWA has done.'

Retired CWA President Larry Cohen has been working on the Sanders campaign for the past six months.

Meanwhile, a Monmouth University poll released December 16 shows Sanders' rival Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead. Fifty-nine percent of respondents in the nationwide poll said they backed Clinton, with 26% supporting Sanders and 4% for Martin O'Malley.

The results are similar to a previous Monmouth poll released in October. A CNN poll released earlier this month had Clinton leading Sanders by 58% to 30%.

'Clinton successfully ran the gauntlet this fall, appearing before the Benghazi Committee and outlasting the specter of a Biden candidacy. She really hasn't lost ground since then,' Monmouth University polling director Patrick Murray said in a statement.

Clinton has also won major union endorsements, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Sanders has won the backing of the American Postal Workers Union.

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