Clinton backed by largest labor union in US

Largest US labor union National Education Association endorses Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for 2016 presidential elections

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at the Human Rights Campaign Breakfast in Washington, October 3, 2015.

US Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton is endorsed by the National Education Association (NEA), the largest US labor union.

Support from the 3-million member union is good news for Clinton, whose favorability rating on the polls dropped sharply, largely due to an e-mail controversy.

NEA President, Lily Eskelsen Garcia said 75 percent of the 175-member board of directors voted to endorse Clinton.

She said the Democratic front-runner "understands the road to a stronger US economy starts in America's public schools."

Garcia added that the union "recommended Hillary Clinton on the incredible and lengthy track record she has, that is just wrapped around children, working families and education, from preschool to graduate school.” 

Clinton said she was honoured by NEA's support and recalled her success in creating a new teacher recruitment program in the Senate.

"I've stood with educators throughout my career ... As president, I will fight to defend workers' right to organize and unions' right to bargain collectively, and I will ensure that teachers always have a voice and a seat at the table in making decisions that impact their work." she said.

Clinton has also been endorsed by other large unions such as American Federation of Teachers and the machinists' union.

Disappointed by the decision, an art teacher from New Jersey, Marie Corfield told Wall Street Journal that “We want a president who is going to support free and fully funded public schools and an education workforce that’s respected. I’m not convinced that’s Hillary Clinton.” Corfield said she is backing Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders, who is gradually closing the gap with Clinton in the polls, has said several NEA members are supporting him.

TRTWorld and agencies