UE Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

August 26, 2019

Independent, progressive union cites Sanders’ history of standing with workers

For more information contact:
Jonathan Kissam, UE Communications Director
(802) 343 1745 | jkissam@ueunion.org

UE, the independent, progressive union whose Locals 506 and 618 conducted the first major manufacturing strike of the Trump era in Erie, PA last winter, has endorsed Bernie Sanders for President.

“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,” said UE General President Peter Knowlton. “From four decades of actively supporting UE members and other workers in Vermont, to his vocal support for our 1700 members in Erie, PA who went on a nine-day strike this past winter, Bernie Sanders has always made it clear which side he is on.”

The resolution adopted by the convention, after a debate this morning, reads in part:

Bernie has consistently come to UE strike lines and workplace actions. He has assisted locals in contract fights... Bernie was an outspoken supporter of UE Locals 506 and 618 in their first contract struggle with their new employer, Wabtec in early 2019. Bernie reached out to UE to offer whatever assistance that members needed and he could provide… His support for UE members during the nine-day strike gave us needed national recognition, and was instrumental in achieving a just settlement.

The resolution also cites Sanders’ and UE’s shared belief that healthcare is a human right, and must be guaranteed through a Medicare for All, single-payer system.

Sanders addressed UE’s convention this morning. “I am humbled to receive the endorsement of my union brothers and sisters from UE. We are running a true working class campaign, which speaks directly to workers and confronts the massive inequality we see in our society today,” said Sen. Sanders. “UE’s successful strike in Erie has sent a message to corporate CEOs across the country that it is absolutely unacceptable for profitable corporations to provide obscene compensation packages to executives, while ripping off workers and their families. Our fight is about the need for an economy that works for all Americans and not just the one percent, and we are going to win that fight together.”

"UE" is the abbreviation for United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, a democratic national union representing some 35,000 workers in a wide variety of manufacturing, public sector and private service-sector jobs. UE is an independent union (not affiliated with the AFL-CIO) proud of its democratic structure and progressive policies.

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