CHICAGO--The Service Employees International Union, one of the most politically engaged labor organizations, announced Monday there will be no Democratic primary presidential endorsement. Staying out of the primary is a victory of sorts for Barack Obama who faced an uphill battle to clinch the SEIU backing; a roadbump for Hillary Clinton and a more significant set-back for John Edwards because he has been working the SEIU stronger than his rivals.
The SEIU went to neutral because there was not enough difference between the pro-union candidates. Each state will be encouraged to make an endorsement. That means it is just a matter of time before the Illinois SEIU announces for Obama and the New York SEIU goes for Clinton. Edwards, I have been told, has an edge in California.
for SEIU release, click below...
Citing Strength of Presidential Field, SEIU Locals to Decide on Endorsement of Presidential Candidates by State
Members and Leaders in Each State Will Decide Whether/Whom to Endorse
CHICAGO – Citing the strength of the presidential field on the key issues for working families, and the importance of the 2008 election on the future of America, SEIU local unions will decide on presidential primary endorsements on a state-by-state basis.
“The outcome of this election will decide whether we finally achieve comprehensive, affordable healthcare for everyone, whether we bring economic security and fairness to working people, whether we bring our sons and daughters home from a civil war in Iraq, and whether working people in America finally have the freedom to form unions without intimidation,” said SEIU President Andy Stern. “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 Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger said: “Any one of these candidates would help create a new American dream for workers and their families. Once we have a nominee, SEIU members and leaders will launch the largest and most comprehensive campaign in our history to help elect a president who truly cares about working families.”
Local unions in each state will decide in a democratic process whether and/or whom to endorse. Endorsement decisions will not be announced before October 15. States that endorse will engage in positive campaign activities on behalf of their endorsed candidate in their state.
SEIU members will continue their commitment to changing America by working together on key issues, such as overriding President Bush’s veto of children’s healthcare, and mobilizing for SEIU’s largest grassroots effort in history to elect a pro-worker president.
Already the top presidential candidates have been more involved with SEIU members than ever before, including being interviewed by members and walking a day in a member’s shoes at work and home.
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With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union