On the day of a Republican presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., attends a rally in Upper Senate Park with striking workers to call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, Nov. 10, 2015. 
Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP

Bernie Sanders nabs his biggest labor endorsement yet


Bernie Sanders picked up his biggest labor union endorsement yet on Thursday from the American Postal Workers Union, which represents more than 250,000 active and retired postal workers across the country.

Sanders spoke to the union’s conference last month in October in Las Vegas, and later the group’s national executive board voted to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, according to the union. “Politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein in a statement.

In the Senate, Sanders has fought mail delivery cuts and post office closures, the union said, as well as stopped the appointment of officers to the postal Board of Governors the union opposes. “Bernie Sanders is a fierce advocate of postal reform. He staunchly opposes postal privatization, and supports enhanced postal services, including postal banking,” said Dimondstein.

Larry Cohen, the former president of the Communications Workers of America union who has now joined Sanders’ campaign, heralded the move. “APWU is everywhere there is a post office and their 250,000 members are way at the top when it comes to member involvement and union democracy. We welcome the unprecedented support of the APWU executive board and look forward to working with their members across the United States,” Cohen said.

It’s big endorsement for Sanders at a time when he needs one. He’ so far lost most major union endorsements to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who has also locked up support from most Democrats in Congress. There are still some major unions yet to endorse, but one of the biggest, the Service Employees International Union, is rumored to be leaning towards Clinton.

The biggest prize in the labor movement is the endorsement of the AFL-CIO federation, but that likely will not come until Democrats come much closer to picking a nominee. The Postal Workers are the second major union in the AFL-CIO to back Sanders (the other being National Nurses United), but Clinton has several more AFL-CIO members in her corner.