Via cityandstateny.com: An Interesting Political Take On Why Organized Labor Has Not Rushed To The Front To Endorse New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo For Re-Election
(NEW YORK) - Four Years Ago, the New York State AFL-CIO Lined Up Behind Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s Candidacy for Governor, Even Though the State Teachers Union, An Influential Player Within The Broader Labor Coalition, Did Not Support Him.
This Year ,the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Has Again Declined to Endorse Cuomo, But the Teachers’ Union Went a Step Further by Trying to Block the State AFL-CIO From Endorsing the Governor’s Re-Election Bid, Sources Tell City & State.
The Potential Loss of An Endorsement by the Labor Umbrella Group Comes at a Time of Strained Relations Between the Governor and Key Public Sector Unions.
NYSUT Again Opted Not to Make a Pick in the Governor’s Race and Another Member of the AFL-CIO, the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), Went Even Further, Backing One of Cuomo’s Democratic Primary Rivals, Zephyr Teachout, and Her Running Mate, Tim Wu. Another Influential Union With the AFL-CIO, The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), Has Long Made it Clear That it’s Unlikely to Endorse the Governor.
Of Course, Some Private Sector Unions Have Had Friendlier Relations With the Governor. Cuomo Secured the Backing of the Labor-Backed Working Families Party Earlier This Year, and He Has Enjoyed Support From the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) And Building Trades Unions, Some of Which are Part of the State AFL-CIO. (One Major Labor Group That’s a Cuomo Ally, 1199 SEIU, is Not Part of the Umbrella Group.)
The Question of Whether to Officially Line Up Behind Cuomo or to Stay Out of the Governor's Race Was a Topic of Discussion at the State AFL-CIO’s Nominating Convention This Week.
One Former Labor Official said Late Last Week That NYSUT, PEF and the American Federation of City, State & County Employees (AFSCME) Councils - Including the CSEA - Were Banding Together in an Effort to Block a Cuomo Endorsement.
The Final Decision Will Gauge How Far the Labor Movement’s Willing to Go to Chide the Governor.
Public Sector Labor Leaders Have Expressed Unhappiness With a Number of Steps Taken by the Cuomo Administration, From The Creation of a New Pension Tier to the 2% Property Tax Cap.
Two Labor Leaders Who Were Elected After the 2010 Cycle - PEF President Susan Kent and NYSUT’s Karen Magee - Have Joined CSEA’s Danny Donohue in Channeling the Anger of Their Rank-And-File Members.
While Some Worry Public Sector Unions Will Push Too Far and Hurt Other Labor Groups, Others Say Solidarity’s Critical.
“My ‘Loyalty’ is to the Labor Movement ‘First’ and ‘Not’ to Elected Officials,” One Labor Leader said.
You Can Directly Access This Labor News Story at: http://cityandstateny.com/2/83/labor/nys-afl-cio-endorsement-for-cuomo-in-flux.html#.U_IIVcWpU1K