AFL-CIO endorses Clinton

AFL-CIO endorses Clinton
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The nation’s most powerful labor organization is backing Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Hillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US MORE for president.

The AFL-CIO voted Thursday to endorse the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, following the path of many top unions like the National Education Association and the Service Employees International Union.

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With the AFL-CIO’s endorsement, Clinton has locked up the labor vote.

“Hillary Clinton is a proven leader who shares our values,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.

“Throughout the campaign, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to the issues that matter to working people, and our members have taken notice,” he added. "The activism of working people has already been a major force in this election and is now poised to elect Hillary Clinton and move America forward.”

Clinton embraced the AFL-CIO following the vote, promising that “workers will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House” if she is elected.

“We are stronger when we have each other’s backs,” Clinton said. "Workers' rights to organize, to bargain collectively, to be safe on the job, and to retire with dignity and security after years of hard work are fundamental to our country and to our economy. In too many statehouses across the country — and even in the halls of Congress — these rights are under concerted attack by Republicans.

“As president, I will stand proudly with the AFL-CIO and fight to protect the rights and values that helped build the might American middle class,” she added.

The AFL-CIO is a collection of unions that represents more than 12 million workers. It has been contemplating the endorsement over the last year, as its members had been split between Clinton and her fellow Democratic presidential challenger, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (Vt.).

Last week, the AFL-CIO’s political committee recommended that the board endorse her, which it did during a meeting Thursday.

This comes as most major labor unions fall in line behind Clinton.

The AFL-CIO will immediately “put in motion a ground campaign to elect Hillary Clinton,” Trumka said as he warned about the “dire consequences [presumptive Republican presidential nominee] Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE poses” for the labor community.

“This election offers a stark choice between an unstoppable champion for working families and an unstable charlatan who made his fortune scamming them,” said Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, who also serves as chairman of the AFL-CIO’s political committee.

"Working people know that Hillary Clinton has the temperament and experience to unite all Americans in our fight to increase incomes at home and extinguish threats abroad,” Saunders added.