Dems battle for Nevada's union vote

Sign at the AFL-CIO building in Washington, D.C.


Doug Krizner: Nevada holds its Democratic caucus this Saturday. A hearing this morning could have a huge impact on who wins -- at issue is a dispute between the state teacher's union, supporting Hillary Clinton, and the Culinary Worker's Union, backing Barack Obama.

The teachers say allowing caucus sites in casinos will unfairly benefit the Culinary Workers. As Jeremy Hobson reports, whatever happens, the battle is giving unions the attention they've been looking for.

Jeremy Hobson: In Nevada, unions aren't dying. They're growing.

David Damore: There's a lot of concern in the union movement around the country as to what's the future of it -- and this is, I think, one of the bright spots.

David Damore at the University of Nevada says the reason is simple: A booming entertainment industry means a growing workforce, with jobs that are tough to outsource.

Damore: You can't clean hotel rooms from, you know, across the ocean.

Nevada's AFL-CIO represents some 200,000 people. The group's leader, Danny Thompson, says that sizeable presence shapes what candidates are talking about.

Danny Thompson: You know to have presidential candidates talk about the problems that we're facing, and not be afraid to say "union," and talk about working family issues. And people do get energized.

Thompson says union members could make up more than a third of democratic voters on Saturday. And on Super Tuesday, he says they'll play a big role in union-heavy states like California and New York.

I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.


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