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. Will from NYC

    "In the 21st Century Countries don't invade other Countries"

    John McCain – 08/13/2008

    August 14, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Anonymous

    A union is backing a Democrat.

    Also, water is wet.

    August 14, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Ruby, Kansas

    Hmmmmmmmm....could this be the VP stepping up to the plate??

    August 14, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. unity

    Obama follows through for the people and McCain falls short, once again.

    August 14, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Latinos for Obama

    Great news! WISDOM at its best.

    August 14, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. mobile251ala

    great job obama

    August 14, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. Ellie, Boyds MD

    WELCOME ABOARD gentlemen, we're GLAD to have you on the Presidential train heading straight to the WHITE HOUSE!!

    All aboard, cho-cho....

    August 14, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. T.O, New York, NY

    Hmmm.....I see Joe Biden as his veep choice – Not a bad choice. I also see Romney as McCain's veep. The 2 veep candidates have been awfully quiet these days.

    BO '08

    August 14, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. The Bush Twins : George and John

    Welcome on board ladies and gentlemen. Firefighters are real heros and deserve all the backing they need. Just as our troops do. (Notice McBush didn't support the GI bill either). God Bless you all !.

    Obama 08

    August 14, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. DR. YES

    the country is starting to come together around obama.

    August 14, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |




    August 14, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Ron Democrat turned independent

    how did sen obama and co. vote on this legislature that prevent them from collective barganing? yeah right. he do love to talk the talk don't he

    August 14, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. pat C.

    this is a breath of fresh air after having to read all the war stories and McCain for days now. i will be so glad to see obama back from vacation to get us all pumped up again with his positive energy. the bad karma that comes with anything one reads about McCain is draining to one's soul.hurry home obama ...we miss you!!!

    August 14, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. Judgement over experience

    Gee, so many people are endorsing Obama, wonder why? Is it because he is for the people unlike mccain who is for the rich only? And fire fighters, police, teachers should all be looked out for as they have critical jobs that are also critical to our communitites. With all mccain's so called 'experience' what has he really done in his 25 yrs? Also heard that he has endorsed bush's plan to roll back the endangered species policy so there goes his claim that he is for the enviornment.

    August 14, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. Democrat

    Welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait for the Convention!!!
    Obama 08

    August 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |



    August 14, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. William

    This ranks up there with 'sun rises in the east.' Only if a labor union endorsed a REPUBLICAN Prez candidate is it news. Don't you think most of those fire fighters were already going to vote for Obama anyway?

    CNN is supposed to report NEWS; there isn't anything new here at all.

    August 14, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. Not_An_Angell

    Heroes for Obama. I like it! Thank you.

    August 14, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. Susan

    Welcome aboard. The mor people who join the campaign to stop Republican tyranny, the better.

    August 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. paulie_nj

    According to a recent article written by CNN contributors, they describe Obama as "a little-known state lawmaker from Illinois". Not really the credentials of someone we should trust our country to.

    August 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. Minnesota Woman Voter for Hillary; now for McCain

    Good, because I don't.

    August 14, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. I miss Hillary

    Cheers for Collective Bargaining!

    August 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Andrew

    This site has gotten so boring. Everything is Go Obama! McCain's an idiot! Go go go!! Really any substance or interesting dialogue.

    August 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Gee, a union endorsing a Democrat. That's big news. Like the Democratic agenda, unions outlived their usefulness decades ago.

    August 14, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Abby

    Thank you to those brave man and women. Thank you for recognizing who is on the side of working men and women. God bless you and protect you as you do the dangerous work.

    OBAMA 08!!!

    August 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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