Sanders scores national labor union endorsement

Sanders scores national labor union endorsement
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The United Electrical Workers endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE (I-Vt.) on Monday, awarding the progressive candidate a major labor endorsement in the 2020 Democratic primary. 

“Bernie understands the need for workers to have a democratic, independent union movement that is unafraid to challenge Corporate America's stranglehold on our economy,” the union's president Peter Knowlton said in a statement after the group unanimously voted to endorse Sanders at its convention on Monday. 

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Sanders spoke at the union's convention in Pittsburgh on Monday, emphasizing the need to for the working class to take an "offensive" approach. 

The endorsement from the United Electrical Workers, which represents roughly 35,000 people, is a win for Sanders, who has long advocated for workers' rights. 

Sanders released a plan last week aimed at increasing union membership during his first term in office. 

His campaign said the strategy dubbed the “Workplace Democracy” plan, would double union membership during his first term in office.

Also under the plan, the National Labor Relations Board would be able to certify a union if a majority of eligible workers consent and enact “first contract” provisions that order employers to start negotiating within 10 days of receiving a request from a new union and to lay out a mediation process.

Democratic presidential contenders have clamored for labor union endorsements, looking to win support from the groups' leaders and rank-and-file members. 

Sanders is the second presidential candidate to garner a major union endorsement. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans MORE scored an endorsement from the International Association of Fire Fighters earlier this year.