August 14th, 2008
10:50 AM ET
6 years ago

Firefighters union backs Obama

 Obama spoke to the International Association of Firefighters in March.
Obama spoke to the International Association of Firefighters in March.

(CNN) – A major firefighters union will throw its support behind Barack Obama during its annual convention in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Obama, who is on vacation with his family in Hawaii, taped a message that will be played in front of the 3,500 members of the International Association of Fire Fighters at around 2pm E.T.

The union chose to back Obama over John McCain because of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s support of collective bargaining, which gives workers the right to jointly work with their employers to negotiate hours, salaries, benefits and overall working conditions, IAFF spokesman Scott Treibitz said.

“It is unacceptable when fire fighters do not have collective bargaining rights. But it's not just collective bargaining,” Obama said in the video. “For too long on too many issues, fire fighters have not been treated with the dignity, respect and honor you deserve."

The IAFF endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd’s ultimately unsuccessful presidential bid last August and IAFF President Harold Schaitberger campaigned with him in the early primary states. The union was also credited with giving Sen. John Kerry’s campaign a major boost in 2004.

"On every issue important to fire fighters Senator Obama is and has been in our corner," Schaitberger said. "We can't overlook Senator McCain's service to our country, but we also can't overlook his poor record on issues critical to the financial security of our 290,000 members."

Sen. Joe Biden will attend and address the convention on behalf of Obama.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Montana is Obama Country

    Thank you firefighters for all you do to keep us safe..

    Thank you for your hard work and dedication to your job..

    Thank you for supporting the candidate who will truly continue to be on your side to make sure your families are taken care of, your jobs are protected and your service will be recognized and honored..

    Thank you Senator Obama for caring for the people of the United States.

    Obama 2008

    Yes..WE...Can...

    Yes...WE...Should.

    August 14, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Ruby, Kansas

    To Nick:
    If you read the entire article, you would have seen this.." Sen. Joe Biden will attend and address the convention on behalf of Obama." That's why I made the VP comment. NOW GET BACK!

    August 14, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Gail

    To the woman who will vote for McSame – do you have any 18year old kids in your lives? Well, get ready for the draft if McSame is somehow elected. He wants to bomb the crap out of many countries.

    McCain=Draft – Count on it!

    Obama 'till 2016

    August 14, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Donkey Party

    Funny to hear all the far-right Republicons and PUMA sissies spew their rampant hate for Obama. Your 'experience' argument is wearing very thin these days. McCain may have experience in destroying five military jets, getting caught and collaborating with the enemy, and extramarital affairs, but he lacks any competence, and is simply a doddering old fool. Competence trumps experience any day. I'm voting for competence, I'm voting Obama!

    August 14, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Terri

    Minnesota woman for hillary, now for mccain: so what, you are a looser. Just shut up and go vote for the man that haS absolutely nothing in common with hillary. We are so sick of hearing from idiots like YOU. When you make dumb comments like this, people use to wonder why? But we now know that you are not a democrat and just a sorry looser. Why else would you vote against Obama when he obviously has way more in common with your beloved Hillary than that old, senile, warmonger, cheater of his past wife, abuser of his current wife. BUT YOU GO RIGHT AHEAD, YOU BIG FAT STUPID JERK!!!

    August 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. David

    When Obama heard the Russians invaded Georgia he called the Mayor of Atlanta to offer support.

    August 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Texas Trail Dog!

    "We can't overlook Senator McCain's service to our country, but we also can't overlook his poor record on issues critical to the financial security of our 290,000 members"

    ..SEEMS LIKE THE EMPTY SUIT COULD BE LOCATED IN THE GOP CAMP.CANT WAIT THURSDAY TO SEE THE BACK OF YOU PUMAS!

    August 14, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Chris, NJ

    Are you guys all that ignorant?
    The entire concept of unions was formed by the Democrats...
    If unions started backing republicans regularly it would be almost as shocking as if Putin started hugging puppies on national tv

    August 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Sick & Tired of Nobama

    I hope the firefighters turn their hoses on this empty suit and blow him back to Germany. He will feel right at home there with all the socialists. Oh yeah, hope he takes his gorilla faced wife with him.

    August 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Lifelong Democrat except in 08

    This is the same group that backed Kerry in 04.

    Means nothing.

    NoBama ever!

    August 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Jon

    I just want to say that the bloggers on CNN, not particularly this blog here, are very immature and mean spirited. These blogs bring out the nastiness in people. Yesterday, concerning another non-news story (like this one), they were unnecessarily viscious towards Mrs. McCain. I am sick of the insults, especially coming from Obama's supporters. There is nothing new here that they didn't do to Hillary. This presidential campaign is nothing more than soundbites and marketing. We really need in depth journalism and frankly, I'm sick of all the pundits shouting over each other "spinning" without any real discourse – that goes for all the networks and cable stations.

    August 14, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. RJ

    Can one of the true hillary fans (not a republican in disguise) tell me how you could vote for her and then change to McCain–who totally is opposite her in just about every issue? why were you voting for her in the first place-because it's obvious it had nothing to do with the issues.

    Also, please explain to me how 18 million people have been disenfranchised because their canidate didn't win? if 18 million and 1 vote for the other person, it doesn't mean that those voting for the candidate with less votes were disenfranchised........ if it hadn't been clear before, i think hillary was her worst enemy–not the media, not obama..but look at her campaign. her feeling of entitlement destroyed that campaign and no one or nothing else.

    August 14, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    REPUBLICANS ARE NO WORSE THAN RUSSIANS!

    RUSSIANS ARE INVADING GEORGIA TO TAKE IT'S OIL – SOUNDS LIKE JOHN McSAME REPUBLICAN ATTACK ON IRAQ.

    ALL THAT IGNORANCE JOHN McSHAME IS SPOUTING IS JUST TO SUPPORT HIS LOBBYIST FRIENDS & CAMPAIGN STAFF WHO GETS OIL DEALS AND JET SKIING GIVEAWAYS FROM GEORGIA....

    August 14, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. Former Democrat

    Big bleeping deal, unions always support the Democrat. What's the hoopla for??

    August 14, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. ree

    Great the union is backing him.

    But how many will really vote for him in Nov.? Alot of people are afraid to say they don't want to vote for him because they are being called racist.

    Hey, Graig you don't have to spell and use grammar properly to talk about wisdom.

    August 14, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. TheOtherSide

    Here we go. stop that cantankerous man called Mcwar. he will start
    ww III.
    GOBAMA.

    August 14, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    The circle of unity is starting to closed for Obama.

    August 14, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. BR

    Shocking. A worthless union is backing the protectionist Messiah

    August 14, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Accountant Guy

    Firefighters are some of our nations everyday heroes and I have always admired them. I am not surprised that these brave men and women are backing Obama, they know he is the best choice and will actually help our country.

    Obama '08

    August 14, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Your bag

    I always said Biden was the VP choice for Obama and Biden will be the GOP worse nightmare!!

    August 14, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Sharon

    Obama/Biden 2008!

    August 14, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Anthony

    hmmm...Biden speaking on Obama's behalf.....sounds like the VP is warming up for the remainder of the campaign season.

    August 14, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. EMJ

    If Clinton Dems screw up the convention with a bunch of immature antics be aware what goes around comes around. If HRC screws up BO's chances, HRC will NEVER EVER get the Dem nomination. As the Mens Warehouse guy says 'I guarantee it'.

    August 14, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. kristopher-k in wisconsin

    Minnesota woman-how on earth can you support McCain over Obama? Obama and Hillary had almost exactly the same ideas and goals! All you Hillary supporters who say you're now with the McCain camp really need to take a step back, drop the emotional baggage from the primary loss, and look at the big picture. When I see people like you making these claims I wonder exactly why did you support Hillary in the first place? Obviously it wasn't due to the issues...was it just because she's a woman? That's hardly a reason to support a candidate running for office. Hillary lost, she took Obama for granted, spent all her cash way too early-she thought it would all be over after Super Tuesday! So if you're going to be upset at anyone, be upset at Hillary and her campaign for running a poorly organized, over confident, bankrupt operation!

    August 14, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Houston, TX

    Thank you!!!! Yes we all can!!!

    Obama 08/12!!

    August 14, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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