WASHINGTON (AP) — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to be endorsed next week by the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, in another sign of Democrats shifting toward the general election against Republican Donald Trump.
A union official said the AFL-CIO’s political committee voted on Friday to recommend that the labor federation’s general board hold a call next Thursday to consider the endorsement. Clinton is all but assured of it because she has received most of the endorsements of the AFL-CIO’s member unions.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the private meeting.
The powerful labor federation represents 12.5 million workers and is a key member of the Democratic party’s coalition. It has withheld an endorsement during the primaries as Clinton received a spirited challenge from Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, who has made his opposition to faulty trade deals a cornerstone of his campaign.
Clinton has received the endorsements of many of the AFL-CIO’s largest members, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Teachers.
But some labor activists, including many rank-and-file members who support Sanders, have questioned Clinton’s past support for trade deals, including her role as secretary of state in the early development of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Clinton announced her opposition last October to the trade pact between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations. She said it did not meet three conditions needed for a trade deal: creating good jobs in the U.S., raising wages at home and advancing U.S. national security.
Labor leaders had said they expected the endorsement to come after a series of June 7 primaries, the penultimate contests in the race. Clinton won four of the six states voting that day, including California and New Jersey.
The timing of the endorsement mirrors the AFL-CIO’s eventual endorsement of then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 primaries. After Obama and Clinton’s lengthy primary, Clinton dropped out in early June and the labor federation issued its endorsement near the end of the month.
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