Cuomo endorsement not on AFL-CIO agenda

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The AFL-CIO endorsement agenda (Provided)
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ALBANY—The AFL-CIO is not putting forward an endorsement in this year's gubernatorial election at its annual convention today in Manhattan, several delegates said, after it was tabled by the labor coalition's executive committee.

An agenda distributed to the hundreds of labor activists who gathered at a Midtown Manhattan hotel today does not include anything about the gubernatorial election, according to a picture provided by one delegate. The agenda includes the recommendation of the AFL-CIO's political directors, as well as its executive committee.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, won the endorsement of the AFL-CIO in 2010, but was rebuffed by two public sector unions last week.

The Public Employees Federation endorsed Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor who is running against Cuomo in a Democratic primary.

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New York State United Teachers opted not to endorse Cuomo, repeating the posture it took in 2010.

A labor source told the Daily News that no motion will be put forward “because of the anger many delegates feel” toward the incumbent governor. Cuomo has been at odds with public workers on several fronts, pushing for a cap on local property tax increases and reducing pensions for new employees. He has also reduced the public workforce through attrition.

Private sector unions have been among Cuomo's reliable supporters, but labor sources said the endorsement was blocked primarily by NYSUT and AFSCME, a parent organization of public employee unions.

It's unclear whether a motion from the floor to endorse Cuomo will come up this afternoon. The endorsement convention is closed to journalists.

The AFL-CIO, which counts 2.5 million members around New York, did endorse Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a Democrat, for re-election. He has been a reliable supporter of organized labor's priorities.

The agenda also shows the executive committee and political directors recommended an endorsement of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.