Moments after the IBEW endorsed presumptive-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State issued a statement thanking the Brotherhood saying she was “honored to have earned the endorsement.”
The IBEW’s endorsement came a day after Clinton secured a majority of delegates and a majority of votes in the 2016 Democratic primary election. International President Lonnie R. Stephenson cited Clinton’s history of standing with the labor movement throughout her public career and the enormous stakes for collective bargaining rights that rest with the Supreme Court.
|The IBEW endorsed presumptive-Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton, shown here walking with Verizon strikers in April.
“Every IBEW member will have to make their own decision on Nov. 8, but I encourage them to study both candidates’ records – both in words and deeds – and give Secretary Clinton their support as well. The stakes are too high,” Stephenson said.
In accepting the endorsement, Clinton cited the IBEW’s long and proud history of building both American infrastructure and the working class. She also committed to protecting and strengthening workers’ rights.
“As President, I will always stand with the IBEW to protect workers’ fundamental rights to organize, to bargain collectively, to be safe on the job, and to retire with dignity and security after years of hard work. And I was proud to join striking workers on the picket line this year as they stood up.”
Clinton walked with IBEW and CWA strikers in April during the six-week long strike against Verizon. So did Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. In announcing the endorsement, Stephenson also thanked Sanders “for raising issues of major importance to working families and standing with IBEW members when times were tough.”
“I look forward to working with him in the years to come in the fight for fairness for the middle class,” he wrote.
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump did not join picketing. Stephenson said it was impossible to endorse Trump because of his statements and actions about working people and organized labor. For example, in November, Trump said American wages “were too high” during an interview on Fox News.
Trump has said many times that he is “100 percent” in favor of a right to work laws and the Trump national International Hotel Las Vegas is currently fighting workers’ efforts to organize. Unfair labor practices charges have been filed with the NLRB against Trump executives for firing and threatening union supporters, suspending employees for discussing the organizing drive and prohibiting workers from talking to each other.
Clinton’s support for public investment in our industrial and energy infrastructure and stronger enforcement of existing labor laws were central to the IBEW endorsement, Stephenson said.
In her statement, Clinton reiterated her position.
“We will make the kinds of investments that make our economy work for everyone—including by building a 21st century energy and communications system,” she wrote.
Clinton closed with a further commitment to working families.
“We will make sure American workers have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House. Because when workers are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong.”