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Washington State’s Biggest Union Backs “Uncommitted” Democratic Vote – Mother Jones

Washington State’s Biggest Union Backs “Uncommitted” Democratic Vote – Mother Jones
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Mother Jones illustration; Gripas Yuri/Abaca/ZUMA

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Washington state’s largest labor union has followed Michigan voters lead, urging its 50,000 members to vote “uncommitted” rather than for Joe Biden in its March 12 primary.

The news, first reported by NBC today, comes as Biden faces growing protests from voters on the left about his support for Israel in its war in Gaza, and concerns about his ability to defeat Trump, the GOP’s all-but-certain nominee, in November.

The executive board for the Washington chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers—which represents more than 50,000 of the union’s more than one million workers, including some in parts of Oregon and Idaho—unanimously voted for the endorsement Wednesday night, just one day after more than 100,000 voters in Michigan, or 13 percent overall, opted to vote “uncommitted” as a protest vote, as my colleague Noah Lanard reported. Enough uncommitted votes can mean some state delegates at the party’s national convention are uncommitted, and can vote for the nominee of their choosing. 

“While Biden has been an ally to workers over the last four years, low-wage workers cannot afford setbacks when it comes to the right to organize and the protections we’ve won during Biden’s time in office,” UFCW 3000’s statement said

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The Washington union also said it’s “in solidarity with our partners in Michigan who sent a clear message in their primary that Biden must do more to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Biden must push for a lasting ceasefire and ending US funding toward this reckless war.” As I wrote on Tuesday about the effort in Michigan, a state with large Arab and Muslim populations: 

The campaign says it hopes that, if successful, “Biden would feel more at risk of losing Michigan in the general election, prompting a potential reassessment of his financing and backing of Israel’s war in Gaza.”

While Michigan has historically been a crucial swing state, Washington state has reliably voted blue—and the union doesn’t want its “uncommitted” endorsement to change that, noting that it will send “staff, members, and resources to any swing state across the nation to support the Democratic nominee to win and defeat Trump.” 

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Representatives for the Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.



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