AFL-CIO to Endorse Obama for President

June 25, 2008

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The AFL-CIO is poised to endorse Sen. Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency, with the results of a poll of the federation’s executive council expected on Thursday, June 26. Leaders of the 10-million member organization began voting by fax on June 24.

The labor federation is preparing to launch an extensive get-out-the vote drive, and it has already begun a campaign to educate union members about the anti-labor policies of Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. The AFL-CIO endorsement could help Obama win support among blue-collar workers in critical industrial “swing” states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

“I look forward to the endorsement of Sen. Obama’s historic candidacy,” said APWU President William Burrus, who is a member of the AFL-CIO executive council. “I believe he will be a strong advocate for America’s working families.”

Fifty-six unions comprise the federation, with a two-thirds majority required to make an endorsement. The AFL-CIO remained neutral during the primaries, but many of its unions made individual endorsements.

The APWU’s National Executive Board endorsed Obama in April, and the union’s National Presidents Conference, a committee of local and state presidents, endorsed the Illinois senator unanimously at its meeting on June 22. Delegates to the union’s 19 th Biennial National Convention in August will vote on the endorsement as well.

Obama got an enthusiastic reception from the AFL-CIO executive council at closed-door meetings June 18 and 19. Many of the unions that had endorsed Sen. Clinton and Sen. Edwards during the primary season expressed support for Sen. Obama following the meetings.

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