“Politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution,” Postal Workers President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement, invoking the battle cry of the Vermont senator. “Bernie Sanders stands above all others as a true champion of postal workers and other workers throughout the country. He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk.”
Much of the talking revolves around post office closures across the nation, particularly in rural areas, and new ways to raise postal revenue. Dimondstein added that the group had been impressed when Sanders spoke to postal workers in Las Vegas, which was his first stop after October’s debate.
This hasn’t stopped some progressive rank-and-file members from breaking for Sanders already. Before the APWU had made its decision official, the Sanders camp rolled out its New Hampshire steering committee, featuring several postal workers and mail carriers.
“Hillary Clinton, I’ve met her,” said John Joyal, a training instructor at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and one of the steering committee’s 53 members. “I’ve taken pictures with her. But she’s too wishy-washy. Bernie’s got my support, no two ways about it.”
Joyal added that union brass might be tempted to swing their votes toward Clinton, but that dues-paying members in the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire will not necessarily follow. “A lot of these members won’t be told who to vote for,” he told ABC News.
Sanders hopes that other unions will follow but, in the meantime, the scope of this new endorsement is a statement of its own.