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Sweet blog special: Dem presidential rivals woo LIUNA, Change to Win, SEIU.

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WASHINGTON—Organized labor is enormously influential in the Democratic primary, as the campaigns of 2008 presidential candidates seek endorsements from the major labor federations and member unions.

In the next week three labor (LIUNA, SEIU, Change to WIn) presidential forums—two in Chicago—will feature presidential candidates. There’s a lot of schedule jockeying on Monday. Before heading to Washington, Obama has an economics speech in New York City in the morning and Clinton delivers her plan to deliver universal health care coverage in Iowa.


*On Monday and Tuesday, LIUNA-the Laborers’ International Union of North America hosts a Leadership Conference at the Chicago Sheraton Hotel and Towers. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Joe Biden speak on Monday. Bill Richardson on Tuesday. Barack Obama is not scheduled to attend. The construction workers union has no set timetable for an endorsement.

*Also on Monday—in Washington--the SEIU--Service Employees International Union political action conference hosts all the top contenders.

9:40 a.m. – 10:20 a.m., Senator Joe Biden
10:50 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Senator Chris Dodd
1:10 p.m. – 1:40 p.m., Anna Burger, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer
1:40 p.m. – 2:20 p.m., Senator Barack Obama
2:40 p.m. – 3:20 p.m., Governor Bill Richardson
4:10 p.m. – 4:50 p.m., Senator Hillary Clinton
4:50 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Senator John Edwards

*Back in Chicago at the Chicago Hilton, on Sept. 25, Clinton, Obama and Edwards have committed to speak at Change to Win's 2nd Biennial Convention. Change to Win is a labor federation representing six million workers and half of all union members in the country. It includes SEIU, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, UNITE HERE, United Food and Commercial Workers, Laborer's Internationl Union of North America. United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and United Farm Workers. Change to Win unions will be discussing whether or not to endorse in the primary. The Carpenters Union already endorsed Edwards.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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