The unions members really need to think this one through and their leaders need to listen.

As the first union endorsements for president trickle in, union members and leaders are fighting to shape both the outcomes and the process of how endorsements are made.

Four years ago, by September 2015, seven national unions had made endorsements in the Democratic primary, though the AFL-CIO had requested that affiliates delay action.

Six—the Teachers (AFT), Machinists, Roofers, Plumbers, Bricklayers, and Carpenters—had endorsed Hillary Clinton. National Nurses United had endorsed Bernie Sanders.

This time around, with a far more crowded Democratic primary field, only two unions have weighed in thus far. In April, the Fire Fighters endorsed Joe Biden, and in August, the United Electrical Workers (UE) backed Sanders. In September the International Union of Police Associations, an AFL-CIO affiliate of about 100,000, endorsed Donald Trump.

On the local and state level the Hotel Trades Council, Local 6 of UNITE HERE in New York City, endorsed Mayor Bill de Blasio for president (he has since dropped out), while Sanders got Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 230 in Ottumwa, Iowa, Roofers Local 36 in Los Angeles, and the Pennsylvania Federation of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, which called on its international, the Teamsters, to also endorse Sanders.