Executive Council Statement | Better Pay and Benefits

Endorsement Process and Timeline

While it is unlikely that the 2016 presidential field will fully emerge until after the midterm elections, it will probably coalesce fairly quickly after November. The earliest union endorsements of the 2008 presidential election came in August 2007, just over four months before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. By December 2007, 16 national unions had made endorsements for several different presidential candidates.

We readily acknowledge that every affiliate has the autonomy and ability to make its own individual endorsement. We understand and respect that some affiliates will have reasons to endorse early while others will want to delay endorsements. In order to make the most effective use of our collective endorsement, we are proposing the following process and timeline related to the 2016 AFL-CIO presidential endorsement.

As part of the process, the AFL-CIO Executive Board will take a proactive approach by discussing and potentially identifying a pro-worker presidential candidate and encouraging such a candidate to run for president in the 2016 election.


  • Political Committee begins to assemble information on any announced and/or likely candidates.
  • Political Committee finalizes questionnaire for distribution to candidates.
  • Candidates complete and submit questionnaire for review and distribution to affiliates.
  • Affiliates agree that no endorsements will be made in 2014.


  • Candidates are invited by the Political Committee to discuss issues and campaign viability.
  • The Political Committee prepares summaries of findings from questionnaires and completed meetings to be made available for the Executive Council winter meeting.
  • Beginning in January 2015 and continuing until there is an official AFL-CIO endorsement or non-endorsement, an affiliate can file notice to the federation of its intent to endorse. Such notice then requires the Political Committee to make a recommendation regarding endorsement to the Executive Council within sixty (60) days.

MARCH 2015 TO JULY 2015

  • Continued compilation of candidate questionnaires and discussions.
  • The Political Committee will make a recommendation for endorsement of a particular candidate, or a recommendation of no endorsement, in time for the Executive Council summer meeting.

Once a recommendation to the Executive Council has been made, the normal endorsement procedures of the federation apply.