The candidates are spending too much time talking about esoteric issues like the Senate filibuster and the composition of the Supreme Court and not enough time speaking the language of workers, several union officials said.
The unease may be an early warning sign for Democrats, who watched as many white, working-class voters, including many union members in key Rust Belt states, chose Trump three years ago.
The early 2020 primary has included detours into debates over the Senate filibuster, the composition of the Supreme Court and breaking up technology companies.
California Sen. Kamala Harris hired a top Service Employees International Union executive for her campaign and made her first proposal one to raise teacher’s pay.
As candidates court unions for endorsements, labor leaders say they are listening for a comeback plan.