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. Matthew J.

    Shocker.

    Socialist Union Backs Socialist.

    That's almost as shocking as seeing the polls showing 90%+ of African-Americans are supporting Obama.

    Some people just plain don't care about the country, I guess.

    August 14, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. A CANUCK

    FIREFIGHTERS ARE NOT ONLY BRAVE.....THEY ARE VERY INTELLIGENT......WELCOME ABOARD THE OBAMA EXPRESS !!!!

    August 14, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Unions always go democratic

    This is non news -just the media hyping their candidate again

    The unions always support the Dems becasue the unions know that people like Obama will allow unions to seek outlandish pension and health care benefits even though the majority of the US does not have this, and even if the union contracts sink American industry and drive more jobs overseas -- Tax and Spend as Usual – only with Barack O'blah blah it is tax and spend with no experience – making Barack a very dangerous choice to lead this country

    August 14, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Scott, West Chester, OH

    They endorsed the other liberal, John Kerry, in 2004. No surprise here.

    August 14, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Sue

    Minnesota Woman Voter for Hillary; now for McCain. Start kissing your rights away.

    As an educated female I am offended by ANYONE that supports McCain because Hillary and cronies didn't make it. I cherish my pro choice right. I want someone that supports education, and the right of the people.

    August 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. S.M

    We all know that John McCain is nothing but a McBush and he has no intentions of changing anything if he is elected. Of course those who are wealthy and are cheating the government out of billions of dollars would like for McCain to be elected; only because it would work in their favor. Those that have need to realize that this country can't survive without the "Have nots" and eventually the U.S. will fall just like Rome.

    August 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Angie

    Great news! Obama 08

    August 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Voting Obama

    Obama 2008!!!!!!!

    Democrats lets make it happen. We don't need anymore Republicans. Look what they have done to the USA the past 8 years!!

    August 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Al

    Shooting stars also flame out. Whether he squeaks into the job or just misses the mark, he'll still be an empty suit.

    B.O. in the White House will solidify the next GOP decade. He's such a dork who happens to be dark skinned. (If and) When B.O. derails the economic train that your, mine and everyone else's 401k depends on, then lets see how many eggheads peel the feel good bumper stickers off.

    B.O. will also set back future black candidates unfortunately. His shiftiness and incompetence will leave bigger question marks on the minds of the same people now weighing the intangibles of B.O. and his Rev. Wright stylized indoctrination of being black. Had B.O. remained untethered to this religious dogma, he'd be a shoo-in.

    I'm no fan of Hillary, but it is sad she's such a wet dish rag that his soaring oratory undercut her fundamentals in politics. That's how ignorant the body politic surely is. God save us all.

    August 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Manny

    "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."

    That's because McSame has already made his fortune and doesn't care if we all have to eat dirt.

    Obama '08 !!

    August 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. bibek

    Smart People.. Smart Choice. :-)

    Obama '08

    August 14, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Ndalio

    Good decision

    Obama 08 / 12

    August 14, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. FactCheck

    > The only good thing about the convention is hearing Hillary and
    >Bill speak without a teleprompter.

    The best thing about the convention is that this is the last time we will hear from either of these two on a national stage. She is going to loose her Senate seat... we NYers haven't forgotten how she scammed million of dollars that were supposed to be for post 9/11 reconstruction to support projects that were lobbied for in her office.

    August 14, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. B O is a joke

    Obama has no credentials. Change? Why won't he take part in a town hall debate WITHOUT teleprompters. Or should we have Looney Clooney do it for him?

    August 14, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Kpawlak

    So what.

    August 14, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Obamalism

    Unions backing democrats, news at 8...

    That's ok, the sheep that are union workers will be changing their tune when they finally push for this legislation that bans private voting...

    August 14, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Stop Whining PLEASE

    That is a good thing cause we all know WALMART not supporting Obama wink wink. And to all the undercover Mccain fans I'm going to take my ball home Hillary-ites. Walmart is having a sell on pacifiers. Stop whining, did you all kick up this much fuss when Bush stole the elections in 2000. Do me a favor do like bears do this and go hibernate.

    August 14, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Andrew in OR

    You can put a monkey in front of a type writer for 20 years; but it still wont be able to spell. Experience matters less than you think.

    August 14, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Teri

    The firefighters union is in good company. The American Communist Party has also endorse Obama.

    August 14, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    WV roots.....................
    =================

    SUGGESTION...................GO TO HIS WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comanche
    =========
    YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY LIVING IN YOUR VERY OWN UNIVERSE!

    Folks pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease READ THE ABOVE COMMENT made by Comanche, so that the next time that McCain supporters start whining about the Barack supporters NAME CALLING, you will be able to quote this comment!

    August 14, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Rave

    Yes, this is expected. Eventually every union, every American will support Mr.Obama – no matter how many smear campaigns the republicans launch against him.
    For some people in this country, voting for a black man as President might still be a problem – But, I am sure Mr.Obama will be able to convince them as well in the next 2 months.
    He's already convinced me long time ago..some people understand things quickly, some may take a while to understand... Eventually it will happen and Obama will win with a Whopping Majority in November.
    By the way, I am not a Georgian – I am American sympathetic towards Georgia.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    August 14, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. kevin from kc

    Let's celebrate Obama is almost back from vacation

    August 14, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. wilfred

    firefighters should be commended for their bravery and not their
    stupidity for backing B.O.

    August 14, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Independent from PA

    Way to go, Obama 08

    August 14, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. FactCheck

    > In my community–they get salaries (and unheard of in the "real world"
    >overtime). And white shirts–are making 5 times what the taxpayers who
    >pay for their salaries earn.

    And in my community, there was this incident that took place 7 years ago in the downtown where 2 very big buildings were destroyed by some Suadi folks. Our firefighters kept going in and out of the buildings until they either died of smoke inhalation or were never found again.

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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