Unions To Delay Supporting A Candidate
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Leaders of the AFL-CIO pledged yesterday to consult more widely with workers before making a decision about endorsing a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and strongly urged individual unions not to back any candidate until later in the fall.
The go-slow approach appeared to be a response to the unsuccessful record of labor groups in the last presidential race. Key service-employee unions endorsed former Vermont governor Howard Dean and key industrial unions backed then-Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), but both collapsed in the Iowa caucuses.
"Edwards and Obama are getting the most chatter," said a Democrat with close ties to labor who asked not to be identified to handicap the competition. "But Clinton has really started working it hard with a lot of one-on-one meetings and checking in with people."
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, outlined the evaluation process at a news conference in Las Vegas.
"The breadth and depth of our effort to engage union members and their families in the 2008 presidential endorsement process will be unparalleled," Sweeney said.