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Tom Perez Announces Endorsements from 13 Maryland Labor Unions

September 1, 2021

Today, Maryland gubernatorial candidate and former Maryland and U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez announced endorsements from 13 key labor unions representing tens of thousands of frontline workers across industries in Maryland. This is the first major labor endorsement in the race.

Endorsements included:

“I’ve spent my life fighting right alongside working people and the labor movement, and while we’ve made great strides over the years, we still have a long way to go,” said Tom Perez. “We have to create a Maryland where no one working a full-time job lives in poverty, where workers are treated with dignity and respect, where workers can access high-quality healthcare, and where workers are able to organize and collectively bargain. When unions succeed, Maryland succeeds, and as Governor, I’ll make sure that all workers have a seat at the table. I’d like to thank these incredible organizations for their support and look forward to continuing to work together.”

The 13 unions endorsing have a long history of driving turnout and winning elections up and down the ballot. Citing Tom’s long history of support and fighting for working people in Maryland and across the country, the unions will support the field and organizing aspects of the campaign. They believe Tom is best equipped to guide the state through the pandemic and lead it into a future where working families have quality jobs, unions can organize and a quality of life all Marylanders can enjoy.

“We will never forget the 2016 Verizon strike. For 49 days our members walked the picket line. We walked off the job on April 13. On May 1, the company canceled our healthcare. Our union members stood strong but it was a very tense time. Tom Perez kept an eye on our situation and decided to step in. He brought Verizon and the Unions to his office in DC. Because of Tom's help we successfully reached an agreement that strengthened protections and benefits for Verizon employees. The new contract was so good it was extended 3 years later. Tom had our back then and we have his back now. CWA is proud to endorse Tom Perez for governor of Maryland.” – Shannon Opfer, President, CWA 2107 & CWA MD/DC State Council

“Tom Perez gets it. He gets stuff done. Every place he’s worked, he’s delivered for the little guy. We’re so excited to have a Governor who gets it and who will hold bad actors accountable. Local 1 is proud to endorse Tom Perez for Governor.” – Scott Garvin, President, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 1

“We are proud to endorse Mr. Tom Perez for governor of Maryland. Tom is no stranger to our union – from his time on the Montgomery County council to his service leading Maryland’s Department of Labor, and later the U.S. Department of Labor – Tom has been a champion for hardworking families. And Maryland working families need a champion now more than ever. Our members have been struggling on the frontlines of a global pandemic, enduring long hours and abusive customers without the benefit of hazard pay or even adequate safety measures. Now is a time for bold, decisive leadership and Tom is just the man for the job. We look forward to mobilizing our thousands of essential workers to do everything we can to ensure he is the next governor of Maryland.”  Mark Federici, President, UFCW 400

"When I first met with Tom I could see that his dedication to working families was genuine. He has spent his life fighting for people and defending workers' rights, not just here in Maryland but across the country. We know he will stand with us and other unions in the state to protect workers, especially the essential workers who are on the frontline putting their lives at risk every day. Local 27 is proud to give Tom our endorsement and excited to have him as the next Governor of Maryland." – Jason Chorpenning, President UFCW Local 27

“I’ve known Tom Perez for a long time. When he first ran for Montgomery County Council, he was a friend of labor. And now, after he’s served our country as one of the best Secretaries of Labor in US history, he hasn’t changed. Local 1994 is proud to endorse our friend Tom Perez for Governor.” – Gino Renne, President, UFCW 1994

“Tom Perez is the real deal. As Governor, we know that he’ll have our back day in and day out. Whether it’s workplace safety, enforcing misclassification, or delivering on the promise of a good pension, he is looking out for union workers. Local 70 is proud to endorse Tom Perez for Governor.” – Roland Carter, President, IBEW 70

“We’re working to keep our members safe, provide rigorous and rewarding apprenticeships, and hold giant corporations accountable. Tom Perez stood arm in arm with our members. He’s in this fight with us, and Local 410 is proud to endorse him for Governor.” – Ben Ferstermann, Business Manager, IBEW 410

Tom has deep experience taking on big fights and winning for working families. As Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, he implemented the nation’s first statewide living wage law, fought corporate wage theft, and rebuilt the agency to protect homeowners across the state facing foreclosure and fraud, making the state a national bellwether for accountability early in the housing crisis.

During his tenure as U.S. Labor Secretary in the Obama Administration, Tom enforced laws protecting workers on the job, advocated for nationwide paid sick and family leave, and created more than 125,000 apprenticeship opportunities. Tom fought for fairer wages, spearheading efforts to protect workers’ retirement savings and to ensure overtime protections. He also helped resolve a massive six-week Verizon strike involving over 37,000 employees. They reached an agreement that included protections and benefits for Verizon’s retail workers.