SMART Endorses Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for President
The Sheet Metal Workersí International Association today added our voices to those of our union brothers and sisters in the United Transportation Union (UTU) in making a SMART choice by announcing our joint support for Hillary Rodham Clinton as the next President of the United States.
More than 500 SMART members and their families clad in golden ĎHillary 2008í t-shirts gathered at the SMWIA Local 88 union hall to show their rousing support of the endorsement.
According to General President Michael J. Sullivan:
The SMART union candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton, knows that all working Americans and their families want new leadership and new thinking on both the domestic and international fronts. She will bring to this high office the intelligence and common sense necessary to guide our nation to its destiny as a strong and compassionate society.
Hillary Clinton understands our issues. She knows the importance of sound policies and programs and will deal fairly and intelligently in addressing the energy crisis, fair trade, quality and affordable health care, funding college and technical education and training, as well as protecting retirement security.Senator Clinton, fresh off her victory in the Nevada Democratic debate added:
I am honored to have the support of the Sheet Metal Workersí International Association. We will stand together to rebuild the middle class and make sure that Americaís families are no longer invisible to the President of the United States.UTU National Legislative Director James Brunkenhoefer spoke about the UTUís support of the endorsement and the UTUís upcoming political efforts in partnership with the SMWIA:
SMARTís combined membership will work tirelessly to get the vote out in the primaries and then in the general election to make sure a Democrat is back in the White House. Every member will be asked to contribute voluntarily to our respective political action funds to help get our message across.The official merger between the UTU and SMWIA will take place on January 1, 2008 and will give its combined 230,000 members stronger representation at the work place as well as on Capitol Hill.
SMART will represent rail workers, bus operators and mechanics, transit workers, airline pilots and employees, and sheet metal workers that perform work in the building and construction trades, in production manufacturing, and in the railroad and shipyard industries.
"Hillary in '08," pledges SMART
LAS VEGAS -- Hillary Rodham Clinton for president is a SMART choice.
Indeed, when Sheet Metal Workers International Association General President Mike Sullivan delivered to Hillary the SMWIA endorsement here Saturday morning, Nov. 17, he put the SMWIA on the same page as the UTU, meaning that when the two organizations officially merge on Jan. 1, the 230,000-member International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers will be solidly in the Hillary-for-president camp.
Clinton stood beside Sullivan, other SMWIA officers, and UTU International President Paul Thompson and UTU National Legislative Director James Brunkenhoefer as Sullivan made the endorsement before some 500 SMWIA -- and future SMART -- members and their families. Most were clad in golden ĎHillary 2008í t-shirts at SMWIA Local 88ís union hall here.
"Senator Hillary Clinton, we proudly endorse your candidacy for election to the nationís highest office," Sullivan told her. "Under your leadership, we will benefit as individuals, as communities of common interest and as one nation under God and with liberty and justice for all."
Clinton responded to Sullivan: "We will stand together to rebuild the middle class and make sure that America's families are no longer invisible to the President of the United States."
Brunkenhoefer said the SMART endorsement holds "significant and far-reaching benefits to each of our members and the crafts we represent." The UTU in August was the first labor organization to support Clinton, and she responded with written assurances that when she is sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2009, the UTU (soon to be the transportation division of SMART) will be a partner in her administration.
In delivering the SMWIA endorsement, Sullivan said, "Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to bring about the change SMART members and Americaís working families need.
"Those of us in the labor movement have endured great hardship over the past seven years in representing the interests of our respective members, as well as carrying the torch for all working persons and their families," Sullivan said. "Hillary Clinton understands our issues. She knows the importance of sound policies and programs and will deal fairly and intelligently in addressing the energy crisis, fair trade, quality and affordable health care, funding collect and technical education and training, as well as protecting retirement security."
Sullivan pledged to back Clintonís campaign with SMARTís human and financial
resources. "SMARTís combined membership will work tirelessly to get the
vote out in the primaries and then in the general election. Every member
will be asked to contribute voluntarily to our respective political action
funds to help get our message across," Sullivan said.
The SMWIA Local 88 union hall here is one of almost 200 training facilities and union halls that will become available to UTU locals following the merger.
Following the UTU endorsement in August, Clinton said in a letter to UTU members:
* Amtrak, commuter rail and public transportation should be well funded.
* There should be a fair way of keeping a commercial driverís license.
* Labor protections at both the Department of Labor and the Surface Transportation Board should be strengthened.
* Railroad Retirement and the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) will be supported by her administration.
* All UTU members should be trained in safety and security.
* It is important that UTU members should not be abandoned on trains (limbo time) at the conclusion of their runs, or should be required to report to work fatigued.
Clinton also said she "supports" the UTU in its national contract negotiations with the railroads, "particularly on issues such as entry rates and training, and if the need should arise that a Presidential Emergency Board is required, it should be balanced and fair and not ignore the needs of UTU members.
"I promise UTU members that at noon, Jan. 20, 2009, they will once again
have a friend and a champion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Clinton wrote
the UTU members.
November 17, 2007