Why the AFL-CIO Endorses Barack Obama
By John J. Sweeney
If ever working families needed change we can believe
in, it is now.
America's promise to working families has been broken
by the deliberate corporatization of our economy. The
basic needs and dreams of our families have been sold
to the highest corporate bidders—Big Oil, Big Pharma,
the insurance industry, the giant mortgage lenders and
With 80 percent of the public saying our country is
headed in the wrong direction, it's time to turn
This primary season, we were blessed with a committed
and talented group of working family champions running
for the presidency. Each would have brought special
strengths on our behalf to the White House. AFL-CIO
unions embraced and campaigned mightily on behalf of
former Sen. John Edwards and Sens. Chris Dodd, Hillary
Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
But now the AFL-CIO's autonomous unions, representing
10.5 million working men and women from every walk of
life, have come together to pledge our energy, our
hearts and our grassroots strength to electing Barack
The reasons are many.
As the son of a single mother, as a Chicago community
organizer and Illinois state senator, Obama saw
firsthand and addressed the struggles of working
families. And in his years in the U.S. Senate, he has
earned a 98 percent record of voting on behalf of
On the greatest priorities of America's union movement
and the millions of working people we represent,
Obama's record and proposals ensure he is the right
Good Jobs and Wages: Obama proposes an "aggressive
strategy to create good, middle-class jobs," including
hundreds of thousands of jobs in the renewable energy
sector. He opposed the Bush administration's move to
take overtime pay rights from some 10 million workers.
He strongly supports Davis-Bacon wage protections and
project labor agreements and voted repeatedly to
increase the minimum wage.
Health Care: Obama's plan would provide health care
for all, lower costs, improve quality and ensure no
one could be denied care because of a pre-existing
condition or illness.
Employee Free Choice Act: Obama is committed to
ensuring that workers can choose to gain a union voice
on the job and bargain with their employers for better
wages, benefits and working conditions—without
employer harassment or intimidation. He co-sponsored
and voted for the Employee Free Choice Act and
promises to sign it into law as president.
Fair Trade: Obama wants to end tax breaks for
companies that ship jobs overseas and will oppose new
trade agreements unless more steps are taken to
protect American jobs and the environment.
Fair Taxes: Obama's tax proposal would give families
making between $37,595 and $66,354 a year an average
tax cut of $1,042, compared with the $319 proposed by
rival John McCain.
Retirement Security: Obama opposes privatizing Social
Security and has a solid record of supporting Social
Security and Medicare, as well as opposing cuts in
benefits. He also has fought to lower the cost of
prescription drugs for seniors.
An Economy That Works for All: Obama says working
families' current economic hardships were not
"inevitable." They resulted from irresponsible
economic policies by the Bush administration that gave
tax breaks to the rich while cutting working family
priorities. Obama consistently has fought tax cuts for
the wealthy and program cuts for working families.
As president, Barack Obama can lead the change working
Find out more about Barack Obama and his positions on
key working family priorities at www.MeetObama08.org.
Then help us spread the word.
Paid for by the AFL-CIO Committee on Political
Education (COPE) Political Contributions Committee,
www.aflcio.org, and not authorized by any candidate or