PRESS RELEASE from United Steelworkers

Steelworkers Endorse John Edwards for President

For Immediate Release  
September 3, 2007

Pittsburgh - The United Steelworkers (USW) today endorsed Senator John Edwards as the Democratic nominee for President.

The USW, the nation’s largest private sector union, was joined in making its endorsement by the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA), giving Edwards the largest bloc of union support so far among the field of eight presidential candidates.

In making the announcement, USW President Leo W. Gerard said, “All of the Democratic candidates in the field share our values, and any one of them would be a major improvement over the current administration.

“But none of them is a more forceful advocate for those values than John Edwards.  Senator Edwards is committed, as he has been throughout his life, to going to bat for everyday Americans and to changing a broken political system that leaves millions of Americans without a voice in their government.”
The Steelworkers also noted that numerous polls show Edwards to be the most electable Democrat in the general election. The USW said it aims to play a leadership role in ensuring Edwards’ nomination, adding that the union's significant membership in the early caucus and primary states and high levels of membership density in crucial battleground states in a general election give it a unique opportunity to contribute to Edwards' nomination and election.

The Edwards endorsement followed an extensive outreach to USW members that included a nationwide poll of the union’s membership as well as a survey of its core activists. The USW International Executive Board voted Sunday afternoon for the endorsements, as required by the union’s constitution.  The vote was unanimous.

 A resolution, also passed by the Board as part of the endorsement, states:

“He [Edwards] grew up in a family that worked and lived in a mill town, so he has seen first hand the damage unregulated trade has done to people he knows and loves.  He is committed to changing entrenched trade policies that export American jobs to low wage counties where they exploit third world workers and the environment just to fatten multinationals’ profits, instead of lifting all workers’ wages and creating American jobs

“He has laid out a plan that will lead to universal health care for every American and will cut health care costs for everyone – from those who have health insurance through collective bargaining to the 47 million Americans that are uninsured; and,

“He will fight to restore the freedom of workers to form unions and raise their standard of living through collective bargaining.”

“The long and short of it,” Gerard said, “is that John Edwards will put workers and families first, and there’s nothing that’s needed more than that right now.”

The USW represents 1.2 million members and retirees.

Contact:  Marco Trbovich (412) 760-4335

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