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Biden wins endorsement of prominent union

Biden wins endorsement of prominent union
© Greg Nash

Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE won the endorsement of a prominent union on Friday as he steams toward the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former vice president earned the backing of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in the health care, grocery, retail and other industries. The union is just the latest in a string of labor groups to back the former vice president, who has developed a significant delegate lead in the primary race over Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care MORE (I-Vt.) and appears all but certain to be the Democratic presidential pick. 

“In good times, UFCW workers are critical to keeping our families well-fed and well-supplied. And, in times of crisis like today, their dedication is literally fueling our effort to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Biden said in a statement. “Their employers and our entire country should rally around these workers and ensure they receive the benefits and protections they need — now and after this crisis has ended.” 

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The union said it was backing Biden in part due to his proposal to provide paid leave and other unemployment benefits to low-income and shift workers, many of whom have lost jobs as their industries face a steep drop in revenue. 

“At a time when UFCW members in healthcare, food retail, packing, and processing are on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, the vice president has again stood by our side by calling for paid leave and designating these brave workers as first responders,” said UFCW President Marc Perrone. 

After a winning spree in primaries throughout the month, including a key victory in Michigan and a sweep in the South, Biden leads Sanders by nearly 300 delegates.

Biden has been buoyed by many of the white working-class voters who backed Sanders in 2016 in his primary campaign against eventual nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College Federal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work Biden soars as leader of the free world MORE and is being backed by several key labor groups. 

A handful of UFCW chapters across the country already endorsed Biden, and the former Delaware senator last week won the key support of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest union.