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)

    Who cares? Should we poll every American to see who we all endorse? Nothing matters until the polls close in November.

    August 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. DH Mid MI

    What else would you expect from a union..........big deal

    August 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Bring more facts CNN

    An innocent man was killed "The chairman". We want to know who Obama is? We want to know more about him. Instead of posting these endorsing info please find out more about the so called "The presumptive nominee". American people deserve to know more about him versus who endorses who.

    Bring back the real journalism. Bring more facts about Obama please for the sake of America and American people.

    August 14, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Chips

    A very wise group.

    August 14, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Mccain is an idiot

    "In the 21st century nations dont invade other nations", John Mccain 08/13/08.

    What about us invading iraq?

    August 14, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. WV Roots

    He may have the support of the firefighters, but I still question his true American Roots and what he is really going to do???????????

    August 14, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Pat Riot

    This guy is just promissing everything to everyone. He can't make good on this. Santa Claus isn't real for a reason so stop pretending to be him.

    August 14, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. bob in LA

    I thought he didn't want suppoer of lobbysts?
    All these major unions are lobbysts as well!
    Yoo much word play for me

    August 14, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Debby

    Didn't they endorse Kerry to???????? The only good thing about the convention is hearing Hillary and Bill speak without a teleprompter.

    August 14, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Obama supporter in New Jersey

    Still dominating the news cycle on vacation. Reading about McSame and seeing him speak is like watching paint dry. Way to go Obama! Show up well at the fireman's convention, vice president Biden. Poor Cindy...if Michele sprang her wrist, everyone would be interviewing the doctors, nurses and clerical staff at the hospitals. McSame and Cindy need to retire....they are too tired!

    August 14, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Emma

    Way to go! Now let's get to work to elect Senator Obama so that real change will come......................

    August 14, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. Texas trail puppy

    I thought the GEORGIAN FIRE FIGHTERS were backing McCain???

    August 14, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Comanche

    These firefighters are, of course, looking out for their jobs in supporting Obama. But it's too bad that in other areas, Obama is the most corrupt and evil (and stupid) politician to ever run for president. I disagree with him on nearly every issue and could never support him.

    August 14, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Probably a lot of these guys are also veterans who know how McSame has voted against veteran's benefits, since he's married to Barbie the heiress and could care less....

    August 14, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. richard, Coweta Ok

    Why don't all you IDIOTS just sign your paychecks and give it to the Dumbocrats. Then maybe they will leave my taxes alone.

    August 14, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Patti

    Talk is cheap-let the firefighters say they will endorse Obama. We don't know what they really will do alone when they cast their vote.

    August 14, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. ladymack

    Hurry home OBAMA, we need you!!!!

    OBAMA '08

    August 14, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. Mike

    Obama is a talking puppet who only makes promises to those who will vote for him in hopes of 'give me' 'give me' 'give me'......many of those voting for this clown would never have a clue of what it means to give to the greater whole, only take from it

    McCain 08'.....................from an UNDERGRAD

    August 14, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |

    Obama has demonstrated to various unions and community support groups around the country that he supports them and any efforts to uplift and empower any group toward a more fair and equal balance of all things pertaining to the quality of life. Not in human entities founded on the motives of greed, growth and profit. People are our greatest resource without which there can be no profit.

    OBAMA 08

    August 14, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. D&D

    Simple, clear and real.
    God bless you fire fighters.

    August 14, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. Jiggles

    Ron Democrat turned independent:

    Obama voted for opening the vote on Collective Barginning. That is why Obama is getting their support- what was your post hoping to achieve other than making random, unjustified, veiled claims with no merit or foundation?

    Also worth noting Clinton voted same way as Obama on this one...yet another way they stand in lock step while McCaina dnt he Bush administration stamp on the workers and servie men and women in favour of corperation and their own agenda.

    August 14, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. larryh wi

    Are we supposed to be surprised that the IAFF would back the democrat ! Unions are for collective barganing, same thing as the old Robin Hood theory, take from the rich and give to the poor whether they deserve it or not. Democrats want to give rather than earn, their main supporters are unions, and people who do not have a good work ethic. Duhhh Go John GO.

    August 14, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    The only trump card left for mcWAR-COWARD-BEFORE-RUSSIA :SWIFTBOATING!
    One more qustion-mcBUSH is Iraq a sovereign nation?

    August 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. Kyle Muncie, Indiana

    Go Obama! Thanks firefighters!

    August 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. Janet, New York

    Welcome aboard! Heroes recognize other heroes!!!!
    OBAMA 2008!!!!!!!

    August 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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