In 2016, seven national unions and more than 100 local affiliates broke with the rest of the labor movement and endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. Key to that break was a grassroots network called Labor for Bernie, an independent group of union members calling for working-class politics. Earlier this year, the network kicked back into action, regrouping for 2020.
With the assistance of many DSA members, Labor for Bernie 2020 has launched chapters across the country, signed up hundreds on its pledge card, and is just getting started. It has active networks in the AFT, NEA and Machinists, and is building in the Teamsters, IATSE, and more. It is fighting to show the Democratic Party and the labor movement officialdom that there is an army of unionists and organized working-class activists ready for Bernie’s brand of political revolution.
Whether they believe in realigning the Democratic Party or in independent political action, these activists believe that unions must act politically in the interests of the broader class rather than transactionally in the interest of maintaining a minimum of pro-worker sentiment in the anti-worker halls of power.
Labor for Bernie wants to bring the political revolution to our workplaces and unions, not just to win a Bernie nomination and then the presidency, but to hold a Sanders administration accountable and to be the mass movement with the power to beat back Wall Street and win demands such as Medicare for All and a Green New Deal.
Like Democratic Socialists for Bernie, Labor for Bernie is an Independent Expenditure effort and doesn’t coordinate with the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign. It is a grassroots network organizing support for a Bernie Sanders run from the outside. You can learn more at www.laborforbernie2020.org and get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.