Citing President Obama's commitment to working families, the AFL-CIO General Board voted March 13 to endorse the president for a second term.
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says Obama has placed his faith in America's working men and women to lead our country to economic recovery, while Republican presidential candidates have pledged their loyalty to Wall Street and the 1 percent. The AFT endorsed Obama on Feb. 7. (See related press release.)
"With our endorsement, we affirm our faith in Obama and pledge to work with him through the election and his second term to restore fairness, security and shared prosperity," Trumka says.
Trumka notes that the union movement agrees with the Republican hopefuls who say this election is about "values," but there is quite a contrast between Obama's values and those of his challengers. "President Obama honors the values of hard work, of mutual respect and of solving problems together—not every person for himself or herself. He believes that together we will get through the most challenging economic crisis in memory and restore opportunity for all."
When Obama took office, says Trumka, the nation was on the brink of a second Great Depression, and over strenuous Republican opposition, he pressed Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which saved or created 3.6 million jobs.
And with the Affordable Care Act, which all Republican presidential candidates have vowed to overturn, Obama "set the nation on a path toward health security that had eluded our country for nearly 100 years."
Trumka also says Obama's push for Wall Street reform—passed, over the objection of almost every Republican—"is now beginning to reverse decades of financial deregulation that put our entire economy at risk."
The AFL-CIO has compiled a detailed list of Obama's accomplishments since he took office.
While the union movement "has sometimes differed with the president and often pushed his administration to do more and do it faster," says Trumka, "we have never doubted his commitment to working families."
"He has worked hard to create good jobs; he has made the revival of the manufacturing sector a hallmark of his jobs agenda; he has moved aggressively to protect workers' rights, pay, and health and safety on the job; he has worked for a fair resolution of the housing crisis; and he put his confidence and administration unequivocally behind the workers and companies in the American auto industry—a move that saved hundreds of thousands of jobs and is helping to revive the economy now and for the future."
Calling the labor movement "the original social network—a working-class social network," Trumka says AFL-CIO unions will mobilize working people to come together to organize our neighborhoods door to door, powered by cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned energy.
"We will be running an independent program rooted not in parties or candidates but in helping working people build power, making informed decisions about which candidates to work for based on records and issues." [AFL-CIO Now]
March 14, 2012