May 21st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
6 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. D.Kimbro OHIO

    This would have been helpful before WVA,PA,KY, but maybe they can go out and do some advance work during the general election. It is good too see that they are on board for the democratic party in the fall.

    May 21, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is great that more unions and the people they represent are moving to Obama and a unified Democratic party. It just happened to be a little late for West Virginia and Kentucky. I don't know if it will help in the general election. It would mean that the union(s) would have to get their members to vote for their candidate. The best that the unions could hope to do is drive their memembers to the polls and extol the virtures of their candidate.

    May 21, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Congrats Barack

    YES, I love the Miners Union. I love miners. We're going all the way.

    Go Barack

    May 21, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Crush Rush

    Yes.

    May 21, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Felly

    Obama is the real deal!

    May 21, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Jenny Paull

    GO HILLARY!!!

    Jenny Paull

    May 21, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    JJ-Orlando: "All fair in the cole mine until you was your face."

    Was that English? I hope not!

    May 21, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. Colette, MN

    Oh I was just a coal miners' daughter.....

    Thank you UMWA, we love you.

    Obama 08

    May 21, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Greg, NY

    Wow kim from L.A., you're not bitter or anything are you?

    I love how you capitalize every word in your post except your own name and then use the wrong variation of the word they're.

    Keep it up!

    May 21, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. susa

    Way to go Obama!
    Hard working Virginians support Obama

    May 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. REZ

    GO OBAMA!!

    May 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Jenny, WV

    You won't be sorry, Barack will fight for you, and it won't be just words.

    Congrats, come onboard, we welcome you with open arms.

    Obama 08

    May 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. We are a country of 50 not 48 states!

    What a joke that endorsement is. Honestly I cannot stop laughing

    Obama was totally crushed in West Virginia and Kentucky in coal counties.

    Clinton wins West Virginia by 41 points and Kentucky by 36 points and then UMW decides to support Obama. Giggle.

    Obama got 24 votes in Owsley County Ky
    Obama got 36 votes in Clay County Ky
    Obama got 44 votes in Leslie County Ky
    Obama got 54 votes in Floyd County Ky
    It continues in the coal counties

    Good political pandering by the union leadership. Too bad the people that vote do not feel the same way.

    Democratic train wreck looking for a crash in November with blind Obama at the wheel.

    May 21, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Denver, CO 4 Obama

    McCain is a supporter of NAFTA. He actually said it is okay if you lose your job to someone over seas because free trade is too important to the economy. His plan is to train you do sonething else rather protect the job you already have. Is that what you want in a president? McCain really said this folks. I"M NOT MAKING IT UP. go read it for yourselves!!! We cannot vote for this man. It would be a vote against the little guy. Clinton supporters please don't make this mistake!

    May 21, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    Keep em' coming! We ("Obamabots") only need 25 delegates to reach the 2026 to win the nomination. UNLESS... the DNC rules committee decide to seat Michigan and Florida. Then the numbers will change, but the outcome will remain the same in the end. We are now down to the Super-delegates. Hopefully those folks will muster up some fortitude.

    May 21, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Accountant Guy

    Smart move guys!

    Obama '08

    May 21, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Carole

    Hopefully, we'll never have to see any mine tragedies again. Barack will work hard to change the way things are done in D.C. and your voices WILL be heard.

    Thanks UMWA !

    O/08

    May 21, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. HTA, Chicago, IL

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

    I believe that comment suggests all men are sexist? I don't buy that for a second. I think the Union came the realization that Clinton was done and Obama was in. If Clinton was doing well, she would have won their support.

    Although I am an Obama supporter, I might side with McCain on this issue. I'm all for people having great jobs, but I don't think coal is part of our long-term future. We'll need it over the coming years, but how much carbon do we want to dump in our atmosphere? I think a decline in the coal industry is inevitable.

    May 21, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    To Kim from LA.

    I'm sorry you were hurt so badly. We are not all the same. Some of us are actually pretty good people. Please don't lump us all together becuase of your bad experiences.

    May 21, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Dena

    This is so wonderful. The Unions know which candidate cares about them, and who is trying to get their vote and will say anything to get it. Hillery is mainly about herself. Barack cares about everyone, he's everyone's son, black and white. Love you Oregon!

    May 21, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Pistoff

    This pegmatite miner is for Obama!

    May 21, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    "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,"

    My friends, this is the key issue we must all look to for November, regardless of your personal preference between Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama.

    May 21, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. noemi in los angeles

    Oh, Hell Yeah!!!

    We are, we are, the Obama Generation!!

    May 21, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Venus

    Thank you and welcome to the "O" Team!

    Next up – the Gov. of West Virginia will endorse Obama next!

    Go Bam!

    May 21, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Miners need someone watching out for them. Disasters like last years mine collapses are horrific for all involved. Miners need a president who will think of them as people, not just cogs in the corporate machinery.

    You've made the right choice.

    May 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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