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

Firefighters union backs Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. Obamalism

    Unions as they are today need to be abolished. They are the crook of all crooks and have been using and abusing our labor force to gain power and money for decades.

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. cmerepaul

    I like how the conservatives love their heroic police and fire fighters, up until they endorse a democrat, then they're just a bunch of liberal union losers.

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    It is really looking like Biden is going to be his VP pick! I really think that he compliments Barack the best and has been a very strong supporter for him. If Baracdk does not go with Biden, he should be our Secretary of State!

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Dan , TX

    "Who cares what firemaNazis think, a bunch of wimps that hate America" – Rush Limbaugh

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. CC Reston VA

    Say you got it here first! Joe Biden is Obama's pick for VP.

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Johnny McDrill

    I had suspicions that those hose-wielding commies were unamerican all along.

    As a group, we should both fear the firefighting insurgents, and insult their intelligence in hopes that their shame will lead them to understand the wisdom of our "drill and kill" plan for a strong America.

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. LOIS

    Go get a life. You are nuts.

    All the other morans who are so negative toward Obama,'You are all a bunch of dead fish

    August 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. 4moremademepoor

    Lord help me deal with the Obamatards that I cannot change. We don't need a rockstar right now-we need the one with more cajones. Should Obama win, we might as well change our name to Socialist Republic of North America. May the best man win but should it be Obama, Canada is looking like a good place for me to call home...

    August 14, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Damien, Reston VA

    Everyone who calls Obama someone who is young, and "inexperienced," I thank you. I'd rather have someone young, with fresh new ideas, instead of someone who is set in their ways and stubborn to no end. You think we need someone stubborn at this point? Someone who isn't flexible? Someone who won't change things? McCain's voting record is similar to Bush, so if you like Bush, vote McCain. If you are a fan of Sen. Clinton and former President Clinton, vote Obama. It's as simple as that.

    August 14, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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