Major International Union Endorses President Obama for Re-Election--the Second Time

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The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, which was the first union to endorse President Barack Obama in 2008, announced today it is endorsing the President's re-election bid. It is the first building trades union to do so.

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, AFL-CIO (“UA”)*, the first International Union to endorse President Barack Obama’s candidacy for President of the United States in 2008, announced today it is endorsing the President’s re-election bid. The UA is the first building trades union to endorse the re-election of President Obama.

In announcing the endorsement, UA General President William P. Hite emphasized the President’s economic leadership over the last three years. “President Obama took office in the midst of our nation’s most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression,” Hite said. “In the three months preceding the President’s inauguration alone, the U.S. economy shed some 1.5 million jobs. However, because of his extraordinary leadership in stabilizing the financial system and securing passage of the Recovery Act, we were able to avoid a repeat of the Great Depression and are now on a path to recovery that will ultimately leave our economy stronger and more resilient for the future.”

"We're proud to have the support of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada and we look forward to working with them throughout the campaign. President Obama has fought for and stood with America's workers his entire career, and these workers know that their hard work should pay off. Together, we're fighting to ensure that middle-class families get the level playing field they deserve," said Obama for America campaign Manager Jim Messina.

General President Hite also stressed that “in addition to stabilizing the economy, President Obama has secured multiple major legislative victories on behalf of America’s working families. His Recovery Act created or saved upwards of 3.6 million American jobs and made a critical down payment on America’s clean energy future. His landmark healthcare reform legislation has eliminated some of the worst abuses of the healthcare industry and will expand coverage to more than 32 million Americans, including 4 million children. In terms of financial reforms, the President’s initiatives have helped clean up Wall Street and put in place the strongest consumer protections our country has ever seen to guard against predatory lending and other fraudulent practices in the U.S. financial sector.”

Further, Hite cited President Obama’s commitment to the American worker and to rebuilding America’s middle class. “This President clearly understands the predicament of the American worker and that a healthy middle class is critical to our economic future. His support of Project Labor Agreements, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws, organizing rights and other pro-worker policies demonstrates that he is not just interested in creating just any jobs, but good family-supporting jobs that will help to rebuild America’s middle class.” Hite pointed out that “the Obama Administration has done more for returning U.S. veterans than any administration in recent memory. For example, under his leadership veterans have unprecedented job opportunities, and he signed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which is promoting greater veteran opportunities in the private sector and will expand education and training to begin moving veterans out of the unemployment line—a program that is completely paid for and does not increase the deficit.”

According to Hite, President Obama has supported the creation of good jobs at home by finding and expanding overseas markets for U.S. goods. Hite, who is a member of the President’s Export Council, applauded the President’s ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years. “It’s not enough in the twenty-first century to rely on domestic markets to drive job-creation. We have to constantly seek out new markets in which to compete,” he said. “President Obama believes that, given the opportunity, American businesses and American workers can compete against anyone, anywhere. The National Export Initiative is, to that end, all about opening doors to U.S. products so that we can create jobs here at home.”

Hite pointed to President Obama’s decision to stand behind U.S. automakers and workers, despite intense criticism from many in Washington, as another example of the President’s abiding faith in the country. “A lot of people said that America’s days of building cars and trucks were over and that we should just give up on the roughly one million jobs that were at stake in the automotive sector,” he said.

“The President, however, never lost faith in the power of American ingenuity or the American worker. Because of the assistance he provided, and the tough conditions he imposed, all Big 3 automakers are turning profits for the first time since 2004, the vast majority of loaned money has been repaid, and working families in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and other automotive states are sleeping easier knowing their jobs are safe,” he said, adding: “This President doesn’t quit when the going gets tough, and that’s exactly the kind of leadership we need to keep our economy on a strong path to recovery.”


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Rick Terven
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