May 21st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Mine workers union swings Obama's way

Sen. Barack Obama wins a major endorsement Wednesday.
Sen. Barack Obama wins a major endorsement Wednesday.

(CNN) – The United Mine Workers of America endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid Wednesday.

"We are extremely proud to make this endorsement today," UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said. "Sen. Obama shares the values of UMWA members and our families. He understands and will fight for the needs our members have today and the hopes our members have for a secure future for themselves and their families."

The UMWA says it represents 105,000 active and retired coal miners, mine construction workers, public service employees, health care workers and manufacturing workers in the United States and Canada, and that its membership includes more coal miners than any other union in the world.

The unanimous endorsement by the union’s political action committee comes shortly after the May 13 primary in West Virginia - a large coal producing state. Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won that primary, 67 percent to Obama's 26 percent.

Roberts said the union considered both Sens. Obama and John McCain before making the decision, but found that Obama "will be on our side while Sen. McCain will not," citing proposals supported by the presumptive Republican nominee that he claimed would cut jobs in coal country, particularly in the Eastern area.

UMWA International's Dan Kane said the union will be "working as hard as we can, using every resource at our disposal in every community where our members live and work across this nation to do our part to help [Obama]."

Last week, Obama picked up the backing of the United Steelworkers Union. Both the Steelworkers and UMW had originally backed former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who endorsed Obama last week.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Priscilla for Obama

    You got the right one baby!

    Go Obama!

    May 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. JJ-Orlando

    All fair in the cole mine until you was your face.

    May 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. kim from L.A.

    There All Men That Is Why..... SO WHAT....

    May 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. JJ-Orlando

    I mean wash duah

    May 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. JJ-Orlando

    All is fair in the cole mine until you wash your face

    May 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. marty

    Where were they before the election? Write Hillary on your ballot in November. We do not have to accept the candidate that is picked by the DNC or the union!

    May 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    Another one, but Clinton says people are with her?

    Yeah, maybe in her crazy head.

    May 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. proud army and navy mom

    smart people. good deal

    May 21, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. shelly in IL

    Now the Unions president stats that McCain states "he will cut jobs" in the coal countries and some people are still willing to make the sacrifice and vote him?!?!

    God help this country if McCain is the next president.

    May 21, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Rant3000

    This is excellent!!!! More and more people are seeing that Obama will be the ideal President of America in this day and age! Keep them coming Obama!

    May 21, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. MD

    Yes! We! Can!

    Obama 08

    May 21, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Terry in New York

    They should have made that annoucment before the WV and KY vote!

    May 21, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Just say NO to Clinton !!!

    Obama all the way :)

    May 21, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. CT in CT

    It is high time we all came together in unity to beat the neocons and regain our rights and end the bloody mess in the Middle East.

    Yes, that means HRC supporters too.

    Don't let some hateful commentors get you to go against everything you and HRC claim to believe in just for revenge.

    I know I would vote HRC before McCain if the race were the other way around.

    May 21, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Uncle Sam

    I agree with the president of the United Mine Workers about John McCain. He will not pander to these unions, but will instead speak the hard truth despite the political consequences.

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 21, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Democrats Unite Against 3rd Bush Term

    Thank You!

    Obama/Hagel 2008

    May 21, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Dee, MO

    I'm a women an supports the unions decision to back Obama.

    May 21, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Gobama

    Obama is going to pay a tribute to Martin Luther King by winning this election. He is a new warrior of the civil rights. Let us celebrate our victory. Michele it is time for you to take care of the White House.

    Gobama/ Al sharpton 08

    May 21, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Dal CA

    Yes OBAMA will help you guys but where were you before the West Virginia primary. Why did you guys not throw your weight behind OBAMA then>

    May 21, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Chris

    That does not mean he will get votes of all mine workers and steel workers. Look at his performance in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky.

    May 21, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. David Goldman for OBAMA

    HERE COME US COMMON PEOPLE.

    UNLIKE MCDEMENTIA & HILLIE

    OBAMA HAS ACTUALLY WORKED FOR A LIVING.

    HAD STUDENT LOANS UP THE KAZOO, AS I DO.

    May 21, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Dennis

    As the likely choice for President is either Senator Obama or Senator McCain, Senator Obama makes the most sense. This endorsement should help Senator Obama in the general election.

    May 21, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. anon

    Cue the:

    "If not Hillary, I'll vote for McCain!"

    or

    "Let's do a Hillary write in!!"

    _____________________________________________________

    Yeah yeah yeah... we hear it every day.....

    May 21, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. RickytheGriff

    Mine workers, huh? I guess there goes Hillary's "Hard workin', common folk people vote only for me.." platform.

    May 21, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Deb

    The members are not going to be voting for a left wing candidate!

    May 21, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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