Acknowledging that it had to choose between “two good friends,” the United Autoworkers union, as expected, yesterday endorsed Hillary Clinton for president over her opponent for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders.
“Hillary Clinton understands our issues on trade, understands the complexities of multinational economies and supports American workers, their families and communities,” said UAW President Dennis Williams in a statement.
Williams added that Sanders “has brought to this campaign a dialogue that has been needed for far too long,” but “now is a time for unity.” Clinton, he said, “has shown under pressure her ability to lead and get elected in November.”
The UAW’s directors surveyed its membership for input. “We are a family of over 1 million active and retiree members with strong opinions,” Williams stated. “Now, we have to choose between two very good UAW friends and move forward as a united membership.”
Williams also noted that all candidates regardless of political party were sent questionnaires and none of the Republican candidates responded, including presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Trump has come out in support of unionized Carrier steelworkers in Indiana who are losing their jobs to Mexican workers. But he has also made statements about wanting UAW member jobs to move to nonunion, low-paying states to compete with Mexican wages. “Mr. Trump clearly does not support the economic security of UAW families,” Williams stated.
“Hillary Clinton has a strong track record on issues of importance to UAW members,” he added, noting Clinton’s opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and her pledge to appoint a chief trade prosecutor. “In 2009 she fought for preserving collective bargaining rights and stood up against attacks on collective bargaining when we needed her. She’s an advocate for expanding overtime rules to include more working families; she believes in equal pay, paid family leave, and quality, affordable child care.”
Clinton has been criticized by some for having a change of heart on the TPP, which she came out in favor of during the negotiation stages.