Klein responds to WFP pressure with union nods

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Jeff Klein. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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ALBANY—Bronx senator Jeff Klein is rolling out the support of more labor unions, as the Working Families Party and its allies continue pressuring him to re-unite with mainstream Democrats.

Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, announced the endorsement of the Detectives Endowment Association on Thursday and on Friday is expected to win the backing of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

Some unions, including SEIU 1199, are pushing for him to re-unite with the mainstream Democrats who he broke from in 2011.

While the Working Families Party formally backed Oliver Koppell, a former attorney general and city councilman, several labor unions that had already lined up with Klein are sticking with him. The W.F.P. has been trying to pressure them to flip their support, sources said, but so far none have done so.

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The pro-Klein unions include the RWDSU and Teamsters, both of which pushed for the W.F.P. not to endorse at its convention last weekend.

Still, the pressure continues. On Thursday, Sistas and Brothas United (SBU) as well as members of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition dropped off signatures urging the passage of the Dream Act, which opens tuition assistance programs to undocumented immigrants.

Klein moved the bill to the floor earlier this year, and he and the four senators of his conference voted for it. But it did not garner enough votes to advance.