Labor Federation Endorses Obama

June 27, 2008

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As expected, the AFL-CIO has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency, announcing in a June 26 teleconference that the General Board’s endorsement was without opposition.

The 10-million member organization is preparing to launch an extensive get-out-the vote drive, and will work “to introduce union members to Barack Obama.” The labor federation 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 am pleased with 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.”

The AFL-CIO General Board includes presidents of all 56 member unions, as well as Executive Council members and representatives of state and local federations, trade departments and constituency groups. The federation 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 19th 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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