BY TAL AXELROD – 11/22/19 04:40 PM EST
White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) scored the endorsement of a guild representing Boston rideshare drivers as the Vermont senator works to shore up support among working-class voters.
The Boston Independent Drivers Guild (BIDG), which is advocating for collective bargaining rights and unionization for Uber and Lyft drivers, said backing Sanders’s campaign is “the best way forward for rideshare drivers and all working class people.”
“Only a mass movement that unites working-class and poor people, young people and students, labor unions, social justice organizers and activists, and marginalized and oppressed people from across this country and around the world is capable of taking on the rule of the billionaire class,” BIDG representative Felipe Martinez said.
“Only one candidate for President of the United States is using their campaign to build a movement of these communities, and only one candidate for President of the United States has a decades-long record of fighting effectively and unequivocally for these communities.”
Sanders, a vocal progressive who has advocated for a “political revolution” to buoy working-class Americans, has cast himself as a staunch ally of unions and other labor groups. The Vermont independent released a plan in August that he says would double union membership in his first term, among other things.
“Corporate America and the billionaire class have been waging a 40-year war against the trade union movement in America that has caused devastating harm to the middle class in terms of lower wages, fewer benefits and frozen pensions,” he said when the plan was released.
“That war will come to an end when I am president. If we are serious about rebuilding the middle class in America, we have got to rebuild, strengthen and expand the trade union movement in America.”
Sanders has racked up several endorsements from labor groups, including the United Teachers Los Angeles, National Nurses United, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America and National Union of Healthcare Workers. He has also appeared alongside striking workers across the country while on the campaign trial, often to demand higher pay for workers.