A look at unions' roles in the 2016 election

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A Look At Unions' Roles In The 2016 Election
Presidential candidates are going after labor unions this election cycle, whether they're trying to garner their support or get rid of them altogether.

For Democrats, a labor union endorsement means organizational support and even funding.
It's early, but Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has already been endorsed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as well as the American Federation of Teachers. However, the National Nurses United recently endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

READ MORE SPECIAL COVERAGE ON LABOR DAY:America's strongest labor unions still hold political power

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A look at unions' roles in the 2016 election
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Although those three unions jumped ahead in backing Democratic presidential candidates, at least two others are delaying their endorsements.

The president of the AFL-CIO, the largest labor organization in the United States, said it's unlikely they'll back a candidate before the New Hampshire Primary in February.

And members within the SEIU, one of the nation's biggest labor unions and a main supporter of raising the minimum wage, are trying to delay a vote to endorse a candidate because of a rift between Clinton and Sanders supporters.

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Bernie Sanders through the years
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A look at unions' roles in the 2016 election
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during an event in Iowa Falls, Iowa, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. With a week to go until the Iowa caucuses and the Democratic presidential race there in a virtual dead heat, Hillary Clinton and Sanders are mapping out divergent paths toward winning the first votes of the nomination process. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Washington, UNITED STATES: Newly-elected senators meet with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (R), D-NV, in Washington, DC 13 November 2006. From left are: Senator-elect James Webb, D-VA, Senator-elect Bernie Sanders, I-VT, Senator-elect Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, and Reid. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
US Congressman Elliot Engel (L) takes pictures next to US Senator Bernie Sanders after being dressed as Bouale leaders by public notaries of the Kouadioyaokro village, 150 km from Abidjan, 09 November 2008. US Senators Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders visit comes ahead of a July 2008 certification deadline to ensure cocoa heading to the United States -- the third largest importer of Ivorian cocoa -- has not been produced with child labour. AFP PHOTO/ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - APRIL 25: Potential Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (R) (I-VT) delivers remarks at the South Carolina Democratic Party state convention April 25, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sanders joined former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee in speaking to the convention. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a 'Don't Trade Our Future' march organized by the group Campaign for America's Future April 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. The event was part of the Populism 2015 Conference which is conducting their conference with the theme 'Building a Movement for People and the Planet.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, greets supporters during a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Sanders said he had attracted 200,000 donors as of mid-June and his campaign had raised $8.3 million online through June 17, according to FEC filings by ActBlue, the fundraising platform that he and some other left-leaning candidates and causes use. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 6: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Cross Insurance Arena while campaigning in the Democratic presidential primary. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Supporters hold up signs at a campaign rally for Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Sanders said he had attracted 200,000 donors as of mid-June and his campaign had raised $8.3 million online through June 17, according to FEC filings by ActBlue, the fundraising platform that he and some other left-leaning candidates and causes use. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - JULY 6: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Cross Insurance Arena while campaigning in the Democratic presidential primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters after speaking in Portland. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 18: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center July 18, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Democratic presidential candidate spoke on his central issues of income inequality, job creation, controlling climate change, quality affordable education and getting big money out of politics, to more than 11,000 people attending. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
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As for former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, he's appealed for the AFL-CIO's support, but also took his message to Trump International in Las Vegas.

"He's talking about labor unions along with several hotel workers who are attempting to unionize," a KTNV reporter said.

Interestingly enough, those workers are in a unionization fight with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump — who obviously owns the hotel.

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Donald Trump rally in Alabama
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A look at unions' roles in the 2016 election
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
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Many Republicans have voiced their opposition against unions for being ineffective or corrupt. Take New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He told CNN he's worked with teacher's unions, but they're more worried about benefits than educating children.

Wisconsin's Scott Walker is known in his home state as a "union-buster." Walker previously restricted the ability for public unions to bargain collectively through his 2011 budget, which led to a massive protest at Wisconsin's State Capitol.

There's still plenty of time before the 2016 election, but discussion around labor unions could continue to shape the rhetoric coming from presidential candidates this cycle.

More Labor Day coverage on AOL.com:
Made in the USA: The evolution of American labor
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