Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, according to the Washington Post.  The formal endorsement is scheduled to take place today.  In a statement from the Clinton campaign, Perez said, “Progressives believe in making progress, which is why I’m proud to endorse Hillary Clinton who I know will continue fighting to ensure our children and grandchildren can achieve their highest and best dreams.”  Clinton also picked up the endorsement of another labor group, North America’s Building Trades, according to Reuters.

Columbia University graduate students are rallying today to protest the school’s decision to fight recognition of their graduate students union, according to the Village Voice.  One year ago, the student-workers formally announced their majority support to form a union.  Although they have received political and community support, the university administration has responded by hiring Proskauer Rose LLP to fight the organizing campaign.  The campaign’s leaders have cited as “inspirational” the successful union drive at NYU that increased student-worker stipends by 38%.

The Chicago Teachers Union has scheduled a strike vote for next week, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Chicago teachers have been working without a contract since their previous agreement expired over the summer.  Union President Karen Lewis explained that the city’s stall tactics forced her hand.  “We don’t want a strike, we’d like to have a settled contract. It’s kind of hard to do without strike authorization at this point,” she said.

Also in Windy City union news, the morning he was fired, former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy hinted that the city’s failed response to an officer’s killing of Laquan McDonald resulted in part from maneuverings of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) union, according to NBC News. “[I]n this particular case my greatest concern was that information came from elsewhere that he had lunged at the officers, which we knew not be the case and that was what I was trying to fix behind the scenes with the FOP quite frankly,” McCarthy said.  h/t to Capitol Fax for this angle on the union’s ability to control police-accountability policy in Chicago.