When the presidential primary contests began last year, our Union felt strongly that because of Senator John Edwards’s deep commitment to working people and because of our shared beliefs, he deserved our strong endorsement. His belief that unfair trade policies must be changed, his commitment to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to restore workers’ rights to freely choose workplace representation, and his proposal for universal health care were widely shared by our members.
Today, by virtue of a unanimous vote of our International Executive Board, we find ourselves once again in agreement with Senator Edwards, this time with his decision last evening to endorse Senator Barack Obama. And thus today, the United Steelworkers enthusiastically endorses Senator Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States.
Senator Obama’s call for a significant change of direction amounts to far more than a compelling rallying cry. It is buttressed by his record of consistent support for workers, by his call for sweeping changes to our health care system, by his unflinching support for Employee Free Choice, and by his insistence that America’s trade policies must, first and foremost, serve the interests of America’s working families.
Senator Obama has shown his commitment to working families by proposing significant investments in the future of American manufacturing, in the revitalization of our nation’s infrastructure, and in 21st century clean energy technologies that will lead to significant growth in domestic jobs. He is clearly the candidate who can best lead our nation out of the dark period of economic decline created by the Bush administration’s allegiance to Wall Street profiteering at the expense of worker prosperity.
We share Senator Obama’s call for significant changes to these bankrupt policies, just as we earlier shared Senator Edwards’ And all of us, including we hope Senator Clinton for whom we have the utmost respect, must now do everything we can to ensure that Barack Obama is the next President of the United States. Now is the time for contention and division to cease, and for us to unite behind the changes for which Senator Obama and our members are calling.
America’s workers cannot afford another four years of rehashed Bush administration policies, another four years in which the National Labor Relations Board shills for corporate misconduct, or another four years of a Secretary of the Treasury who considers it his “job” to bail out Wall Street speculators at the expense of hard working families loosing their homes.
Nor can those of us who are committed to changing the direction of the country afford any more racial profiling of an election, when either Democratic candidate would be far superior to Senator McCain’s lock-step commitment to four more years of the broken Bush economy and the broken Bush foreign policies.
We are proud and honored to join Senator Edwards in endorsing Senator Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for his election and for a new age of cooperation among Democrats, Independents and thoughtful Republicans alike in which working Americans are restored to a place of dignity in society and in the American economy.