Federal union endorses Hillary Clinton for President

The largest federal employees union is making the case that Hillary Clinton is the right choice for 2016.

The American Federation of Government Employees announced its endorsement of Clinton Thursday after the candidate won in a national poll of its members “by nearly a 2-1 margin.”

“Secretary Clinton shares AFGE’s vision for a strong and vibrant government workforce that has the necessary tools and support needed to deliver vital programs and services to the American public,” AFGE National President J. David Cox said in a statement announcing the decision. “The American people count on government employees to keep their streets safe, deliver their Social Security checks on time, and care for our nation’s heroes at veterans’ hospitals, and AFGE can count on Hillary Clinton to help us get it done.”

AFGE’s endorsement of Clinton further cements her lead against Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) in the race to win the votes of 2.7 million federal workers.

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The American Postal Workers Union announced its support for Sanders in November. The postal union represents more than 230,000 members nationwide.

The Clinton campaign now has the support of 18 national unions and labor groups, which account for nearly 12 million people.

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the American Federation of Government Employees and their 670,000 members,” Clinton said in a statement. “As President, I will always stand up for workers’ rights, fight to keep workers safe on the job, and protect retirement security, including defined benefit plans and Social Security. I’m proud to stand with federal workers, including the men and women of AFGE, to continue making progress and build a better future for working families. Because when workers are strong, families are strong — and when families are strong, America is strong.”

AFGE reached out to all Republican and Democratic presidential candidates before making its endorsement decision. It based its decision on a questionnaire sent to every campaign, meant to gauge their positions on issues related to federal employees.

After reviewing the candidates’ stances on employee pay, furloughs, shutdowns and government services, the AFGE National Executive Council voted this week to endorse Clinton.

“AFGE members make America run — protecting our national security, keeping our families healthy through food inspections and serving our military in civilian support roles. And for decades, AFGE members have helped build the American middle class by fighting for higher wages, safer working conditions and the right to organize and bargain collectively,” Clinton said.

The union endorsed Barack Obama for President in both the 2008 and 2012 elections.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents more than 150,000 federal employees in 31 agencies, has yet to endorse a presidential candidate for 2016, NTEU President Tony Reardon told Federal News Radio.

“We don’t at this point have a specific timetable for making a presidential endorsement in the 2016 election cycle. As we’ve done in the past, we’re compiling candidate questionnaires, voting records and candidates’ positions on issues that affect federal employees and retirees,” Reardon said. “I have invited input from NTEU members and will consult with all local NTEU leaders before making an endorsement. NTEU will base its support only on the candidate’s positions on issues that affect current and retired federal employees such as pay, health care, retirement benefits, agency funding and collective bargaining rights.”

AFGE encourages members to join the union in knocking on doors to get out the vote and phone-banking on behalf of the Clinton campaign in the months ahead.