By Tim Devaney - 02/17/16 05:47 PM EST
The AFL-CIO will not endorse Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonGore: I'm voting for Clinton Christian voters left wanting in Trump vs Clinton DNC vice chairwoman apologizes to Sanders MORE over Bernie SandersBernie SandersDNC vice chairwoman apologizes to Sanders 7 pieces of advice for Hillary Clinton Wasserman Schultz backs down, won't open convention MORE, according to a report from The Huffington Post.
Many of the nation’s top unions have thrown their weight behind Clinton, but AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told members the federation is staying out of it.
The AFL-CIO is likely to endorse a Democratic presidential candidate in the general election, he said, but doesn’t want to pick sides yet.
"Following recent discussion at the AFL-CIO’s Executive Committee meeting and subsequent conversations with many of you, I have concluded that there is broad consensus for the AFL-CIO to remain neutral in the presidential primaries for the time being and refrain from endorsing any candidate at this moment," Trumka wrote to members in an email obtained by The Huffington Post.
Clinton has racked up endorsements from 18 unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association, while Sanders has garnered just three union endorsements.
Many of these unions have expressed support for the labor policies touted by Sanders, but believe Clinton is more electable.
The AFL-CIO’s decision to stay out of the Democratic race is viewed by some as a victory for the Sanders campaign, which has built its platform on labor issues and could ill afford to lose another major union endorsement.
"We encourage affiliated unions to pursue their own deliberations with their members and come to their own endorsement decisions, if any, through open and rigorous debate,” Trumka added.