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Because He's 'The Best Candidate for Working Families,' Sanders Nabs Another Union Endorsement

West Coast dockworkers union cites Sanders' support Medicare for all, fair wages

"Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for America's working families," said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

Citing his support for workers and willingness to take on Wall Street, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) on Thursday endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.

With the endorsement from ILWU, which represents 50,000 workers in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, Sanders has now nabbed the support of five national unions.

"Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for America's working families," said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.

"Bernie is best on the issues that matter most to American workers: better trade agreements, support for unions, fair wages, tuition for students and public colleges, Medicare for all, fighting a corrupt campaign finance system, and confronting the power of Wall Street that's making life harder for most Americans," his statement continues.

Underscoring backing of rank-and-file union members, ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees told the Huffington Post, "The support was significant at the grassroots level," adding, "Many local bodies throughout the union had already recommended endorsements."

Sanders called the endorsement "an honor."

"This campaign is building a movement of millions of Americans who are demanding that our economy works for everyone, not just the top 1 percent. The working men and women of the ILWU are a vital part of our movement which is spreading to every corner of our country," he stated.

The Amalgamated Transit Union endorsed Sanders earlier this month, with previous endorsements coming from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), and National Nurses United.  The United Electrical Workers offered something close to endorsement, suggesting its "members and locals to take a serious look at Bernie Sanders's campaign and to consider their active participation in it." Scores of local unions have already given their backing to Sanders as well.

The ILWU endorsement comes just two days ahead of Democratic caucuses in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, and as a new national poll shows Bernie Sanders tied with Hillary Clinton among those who have voted or plan to vote in a Democratic contest this year.

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