The largest federation of labor unions announced on Thursday it is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, signaling the end of a long primary campaign against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The vote by the board of the AFL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million workers, comes two days after the final Democratic primary and nine days after Clinton was declared the presumptive nominee of the party.
“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.”
Clinton thanked the AFL-CIO for itsendorsement, saying that “[m]embers of the AFL-CIO know, as I do, that we are stronger together.” She reiterated a campaign promise to invest in infrastructure spending, raise the minimum wage and guarantee paid family leave.
There was some internal dissent last year within many of the major unions over which candidate to support. Much of the rank-and-file of the AFL-CIO unions supported Sanders, while union leaders often leaned toward Clinton. There was vocal anger among some members of the American Federation of Teachers when the union endorsed Clinton in July, with many arguing the endorsement came to early.
But the political landscape has changed in the last year and many more unions have moved to back Clinton. She has opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which has earned her support from unions. “Workers will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House,” Clinton said in her statement thanking the AFL-CIO.