The Greater New Haven Central Labor Council offically announced its endorsement of Mayor John DeStefano Jr. Tuesday at a press conference in front of City Hall.

Praising DeStefano’s “committment to working families” and his labor negotiation skills, Local 35 President Bob Proto said the council voted on Oct. 1 to endorse the mayor in his bid for re-election over Republican rival Joel Schiavone ’58. The News reported the endorsement Oct. 19.

“It is very encouraging that [DeStefano] had a strong primary race,” Proto said Tuesday. “It shows the city is going in the right direction.”

The labor council represents Yale’s two recognized unions, locals 34 and 35, as well as the hospital workers’ Service Employees International Union District 1199 and the fledgling Graduate Employees and Students Organization. Proto is president of Local 35.

DeStefano said he valued the endorsement because the unions have promised manpower toward his campaign’s voter turnout efforts.

“I figured out a long time ago that in order to get anything done in New Haven, you have to work together,” DeStefano said.

–James Collins