The AFL-CIO and a growing list of labor unions are supporting Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) bid for House speaker.
“Nancy Pelosi has the support of working people, and deserves the support of the Democratic Caucus as it chooses its candidate to be the next Speaker of the House,” United Steelworkers International President Leo. W. Gerard said in a Nov. 14 written statement. “What drives her is fulfilling the ambition of average, hard-working Americans who want fair wages, a safe workplace, health care, retirement security, opportunity, equality and justice.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Nov. 10 tweeted that Pelosi is an “effective advocate for working families.” A group of six labor unions also pledged support for Pelosi’s bid to lead the 116th Congress, according to a letter addressed to Pelosi and obtained by Bloomberg Law Nov. 14. The correspondence, signed by, among others, the presidents of the United Food and Commercial Workers and the United Auto Workers, said Pelosi has “made labor rights, including the rights of federal workers, a top priority on your agenda and we support you for doing so.”
Democrats will take control of the House Jan. 3. The party is expected to tackle some issues important to labor unions, such as infrastructure funding and a renegotiated NAFTA trade pact with more worker protections.
Pelosi needs a majority of Democrats to nominate her as their candidate for speaker when the caucus holds leadership elections Nov. 28. She’s expected to face some resistance, led by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and including members who opposed her as part of their midterm election platform. No other candidate has emerged for the leadership post, however.
Pelosi has garnered the backing of labor over the years for her support for worker issues, including the Democratic platform, “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future,” which includes rolling out a series of legislative efforts to boost employment and wages.
Pelosi was the first and only woman to serve as House speaker, a role she filled from 2007-2011.
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(Updated with additional reporting.)