August 18, 2015
By John Quinn, LaborPress DC Bureau
Washington, NY — The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has endorsed former U.S. Secretary of State and honorary IAM member Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States. The move comes after a unanimous vote by union leaders and an internal survey of IAM members, who voiced strong support for an early endorsement and named Clinton as the overwhelming favorite.
“The IAM will not sit on the sidelines while this fight is so clearly underway,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Hillary Clinton has been a strong supporter of this union for years and she is now the target of unprecedented attacks, financed on a scale never seen before. The time to help is when help is needed most, and we intend to do just that.”
With nearly 1,000 local lodges across the U.S. and seasoned activists in key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, the IAM endorsement brings valuable energy to the contest.
“Our members understand what’s at stake in this election; the right to vote, the right to join a union and the right to retire with dignity,” said Buffenbarger. “But it’s more than just civil rights and labor rights at risk. The evaporation of economic opportunity is a rank obscenity compared to the alarming and growing concentration of wealth in America. It’s time for an economy and a president who works for more than just the wealthiest among us.”
In the IAM’s internal poll of nearly 2,000 members, Clinton outpaced the entire field of 20 candidates by more than 2-1. Among Democratic members polled, the results were more dramatic, with Clinton leading her closest rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, by more than 6-1. IAM members hve favored early involvement in the election campaign by more than 2-1. The poll’s results were also affirmed in a separate independent poll.
“Hillary Clinton’s long record of supporting workers’ rights stands in stark contrast to her Republican rivals, who seek to ban unions, silence workers, eliminate sensible regulations and give corporations total control over working conditions,” said Buffenbarger. “The question should not be why are we endorsing Hillary Clinton now, but rather, what took us so long?”
*** The IAM is among the nation’s largest and most diverse industrial trade unions with nearly 600,000 members.