Union Coalition to Back Obama


With John Edwards out of the picture, more and more major unions are backing Barack Obama. Today, it was announced that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters–a branch of the Change to Win union coalition–will endorse Obama.

Made up of over 1 million blue collar workers such as truck drivers, police officers, warehouse workers, etc., the Teamsters have a large worker base in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Teamster President James Hoffa will be campaigning with Obama in Ohio, a pivotal state that Clinton is vying for to stay in the race.

“We’ve been fortunate this primary season that we have had a lot of friends running for president,” said Teamsters Communications Director Bret Caldwell. “This is based on our members and leaders. It’s a demonstration of support for Senator Obama. It’s not a decision against any other candidate.”

Change to Win is made up of 5 million union members who separated from AFL-CIO and contains seven separate unions.  Three of those unions–the service employees, the food and commercial workers and Unite Here–have already endorsed Obama. With the addition of the Teamsters, the entire coalition will likely endorse Obama as well. (2/3 of the seven unions need to endorse a candidate for Change to Win as a whole to make an endorsement.) AFL-CIO has not come to a consensus to make an endorsement as of yet.

This adds a new dimension to Obama’s support base: these unions are made up of primarily white, blue collar, male workers in states with upcoming primaries. Good timing, Teamsters.

Teamsters Set to Back Obama – [NY Times]


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