United Automobile Workers (UAW) president Dennis Williams announced on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” Wednesday that the labor union’s “executive board has voted unanimously to support Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.”
Citing Clinton’s record of supporting organized labor’s causes, an official statement from UAW read, in part: “Now is a time for unity, a time to focus on what lies ahead in November. Bernie Sanders has brought to this campaign a dialogue that has been needed for far too long . . . But, the fact is, Hillary Clinton has shown under pressure her ability to lead and get elected in November.”
While UAW’s internal polling showed 28 percent of its members support Donald Trump’s candidacy, the presumptive Republican nominee’s suggestion that auto manufacturers move to states with cheaper labor instead of remaining in the industrial Midwest or moving to Mexico was non-starter for the organization.
On the other hand, UAW believes Clinton will stand up for worker’s rights and advocate for a plethora of pro-labor issues if elected.
Specifically, UAW’s statement cited the former Secretary’s support for strong collective bargaining agreements, more overtime eligibility, paid family leave and more worker protection laws.
“As president, Hillary Clinton will empower a new chief trade prosecutor who will report directly to her and aggressively combat trade violations. She will also triple the number of trade enforcement officers and crack down on currency manipulation”, UAW’s statement went on to read.
UAW is the 26th national labor organization to endorse Clinton.
Sanders has received endorsements from the National Union of Healthcare Workers, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, South Carolina and Vermont’s AFL-CIO affiliates, the American Postal Workers Union and National Nurses United.
UAW’s vice-president Cindy Estrada has also publicly endorsed Bernie Sanders’ candidacy.
As for Clinton, the former First Lady used Wednesday’s announcement to take another shot at the presumptive GOP nominee and tout her in-depth knowledge of the issues.
“Today, about one in five cars built in North America come from Mexico — double the share in 2004,” Clinton said in a statement. “I have said for years that I want to see NAFTA renegotiated to give American workers a level playing field.”
“Autoworkers need more than tough talk on trade,” the statement continued. “They need a president who knows how to compete and win for American workers.”
While UAW membership has been in decline since the late-1970s when it totaled approximately 1.5 million, the union still boasts over 1 million members — 412,000 of which are active and 600,000 retirees.
Watch the full interview with UAW president Dennis Williams below:
[UAW.org] [The Detroit News] [MSNBC] [Photo courtesy still4hill.com]