February 20, 2008
(Washington, D.C.) – Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced today the union’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama for president. The endorsement is the first step in mobilizing the union’s 1.4 million members and their families to elect Obama.
“Senator Obama understands the challenges working people face every day,” Hoffa said. “He is the candidate in the best position to lead our movement to restore the American dream for working people in this country. Senator Obama will fight for better wages, real health care reform, stronger retirement security, fair trade and an end to the outsourcing of good jobs. He understands the importance of giving workers a voice at work and will fight for strong unions to help rebuild America’s middle class.”
The endorsement decision follows a meeting in Austin, Texas, between Hoffa and Obama, and completes a months-long process that included scientific polling of Teamster members, surveys of local union and joint council leaders and deliberations by the union’s democratically elected General Executive Board.
“We have been fortunate to have candidates throughout the Democratic primary who are friends of working families and the Teamsters Union,” Hoffa said. “We are pleased that all of the Democratic candidates have focused on issues of importance to working people, including wages, health care, retirement security, fair trade and outsourcing.”
The union’s endorsement immediately activates the union’s 50-state election program, with special emphasis on swing states.
“Senator Obama will stand with the Teamsters when it comes to fighting for working families,” Hoffa said. “This endorsement begins a partnership to change America. Together we will reinvent the political process and give a voice to those who have been ignored by the Bush administration for the past eight years.”
Hoffa emphasized Obama’s commitment to rebuilding and strengthening the national transportation infrastructure, a key priority of the Teamsters Union.
“Senator Obama will fight to rebuild our transportation infrastructure,” Hoffa said. “He will work with us to address critical issues from our ports to our highways, rails and airports. We need a president who is focused on rebuilding America and Barack Obama will be that president.”
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.