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. KENTUCKY W. VIRGINIA

    LOL !!

    May 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    JJ...COAL....got it? Not COLE...

    May 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Francys

    As expected, people who supported Hillary are now shifting to Obama because they know she wont be the nominee and that John McCain will only make their situation worse.

    May 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Jim D

    How ironic, since the Democrats clearly hate big labor. Why else would the Democratic-controlled Congress continue to allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants in order to depress labor wage rates!

    May 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Kevin in Hanover, PA

    My union leadership also endorsed Obama...too bad the rank and file don't feel the same way!!! Don't celebrate too much Obama backers, it's just the union leadership, we the dues paying members will be voting McCain in November.

    May 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Roberto Burbank

    Go Obama ii is about time for this country to come together....YES, YOU CAN DO IT!

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I agree Hillary 08: Someone needs to tell BO that he'll never be Prez.

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Bayou Joe

    Even if the Pope would to endorse Obama he would not get my vote.
    You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. We know who you are and we will not have
    you as our president. We love our country too much to turn it over to
    the left wing radicals and the Hollywood elite.

    McCain 08...Jeb Bush 2012.

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Bukky

    If McCain wins in November it wont be because Republicans wanted him to Win but because Democrats wanted Obama to lose

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. OBAMA WILL PROSPER IN USA

    OBAMA GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND I TELL YOU ONE THING THE MORE PEOPLE ATTACK YOU,THE STRONGER YOU GET AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED AS A COMMANDER IN CHIEF.WAY TO GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HERE IN HOUSTON TEXAS MEXICANS LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. MD

    Welcome!

    Let's get behind Obama as soon as possible. Clinton cannot, and should not win the nomination.

    Her negative attacks on Obama were unwarrented, short-sighted, and inaccurate. If Clinton had the people who are running her campaign strategy for the last three weeks from the start, may be she would be in a better position now.

    As it is, she needs to bow out gracefully, and let the Dems concentrate on general election fight against McBush.

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. calling all others

    What on earth is up with these people coming a day late and dollar short? As the old saying goes.

    But thanks anyway!!!!!

    Where is Susan?????????????

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Mammy - Edmonton

    Obama is the real deal supporting unions.

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. rijo

    still undecided:)

    May 21, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. ANGIE

    WAY TO GO OBAMA KEEP IT UP EVERYDAY YOU BRING MORE AND MORE PEOPLE TO THEIR SENSES GO OBAMA !!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Thanks, Kevin. Don't let them tell you what to do!!!

    May 21, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. bill from pa

    Sorry Hillary08 but you've got your facts wrong. This is a primary not a general election. The DNC and RNC can, without one vote being cast, put up the candidate of their choice. Each political party can select, elect, or draw straws to choose their nominee. Get over yourself. You just aren't that important.

    May 21, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Enjoy the ride

    Enjoy the ride, it ends 11/4/08. No one is required to vote for some, just because their party was to cowardly to back the best person for the job. bye bye barry

    May 21, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. LF of NC

    JJ-Orlando,

    You also forgot, it's "coal" not "cole" and "duh" not "duah".

    May 21, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. anthony

    for the the people who are dumb / crazy or just cant get it it's over for hillery

    May 21, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. CJ

    All those backers haven't help Obama much up to this point.What has Obama won, tiny Caucus's, what a joke. He gets his delegates, the majority in Caucus's, and Texas that he did not even win. Hmmm I don't suppose McCain is going to share the delegates with Obama win McCain win the State. Obama will be a big loser in Nov. If not Hillary I will vote for McCain. I will not change my mind in Nov. and will vote against anyone on my ballot that supported Obama. I live in a swing State that Obama LOST.

    May 21, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. SN in MN

    What the Dems have never understood, but the Repubs have understood well, is that people vote for WHO they think a candidate is, not WHAT their position papers say. To a particular (small) group of people, the rootless, academic persona that Osama projects is appealing. To the vast majority of voters he appears to be shallow, narcissistic, and alien. Landslide loss for Zerorama!

    May 21, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Helena

    Thank you United Mine Workers of America! We appreciate your hard work. You have endorsed a person of integrity & decency.

    To all Hillary Clinton woman supporters: You do not speak for me. I would love to see a woman president in my lifetime, but Hillary Clinton is not the one.

    May 21, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Actually, it was a good thing for the union to hold off on their endorsement until after KY and WV voted in their primaries. Hillary ws going to win these states easily and the story would have been that Barack couldn't win the states even with their endorsement. This way, it is a non-issue and Barack can count on their help and support in the general election.

    May 21, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Conservative -CA

    I work hard for Obama!

    YEAH!

    Obama! Have a beer with me!

    May 21, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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