Our Union, AFT Vermont, a state-wide union representing five thousand higher education and healthcare professionals, endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President following an overwhelming vote by the members who participated in the union's process.
In our endorsement, we emphasized Sen. Sanders's longtime and consistent support for working people and organized labor--which he has demonstrated by
* walking picket lines
* supporting organizing drives and contract fights, and
* championing legislation to strengthen unions in the face of attacks on organized labor.
The union also expressed deep support for the Senator's broader policy agenda and track record, with a focus on legislation that lifts up the working class such as universal healthcare, making card check the law of the land, and tuition-free public colleges and universities.
"There are very few other elected officials who have done all that Bernie has done for AFT Vermont and the labor movement," said Deb Snell, President of AFT Vermont. "Senator Sanders has always been a strong supporter of the goals of our union, including free college tuition, ending the nursing shortage, and raising the standard of living for all Vermonters. For this reason and many others, our union members voted decisively to endorse Senator Sanders as the next President of the United States."
"I'm honored to have the support of AFT Vermont," said Sen. Sanders. "These educators and nurses are putting in the work every day to support Vermonters, and they deserve our support in return. We have the labor movement to thank for building this country's middle class, and we must strengthen the middle class today by fortifying the power of organized labor in Vermont and across the country."
In 2018, Sen. Sanders backed the UVMMC nurses in their strike, hosting a press conference with the union as well as calling into a rally to deliver words of encouragement and support to the nurses on strike. A strong, unwavering advocate for unions across all sectors, Sen. Sanders has the most thorough and extensive plan of any presidential hopeful to strengthen the rights of American workers and the labor movement, outlined in his Workplace Democracy Plan.