Thursday, September 11, 2008

Machinists union stands up to right-wing/media b-s

A major national political development took place on Monday in Florida. The 2,600 delegates to the International Association of Machinists convention enthusiastically voted to endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States. They set in motion a major on-the-ground election effort in key battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

This move by the nation’s second largest industrial union — those famous blue-collar voters the Republican right and the corporate media have been voicing oh so much concern about — came despite a week of assault by the very same Republican far-right embodied in the McCain/Palin campaign, with a cowed corporate media largely following their script.

The IAM had backed Hillary Clinton, and during the primaries IAM President Tom Buffenbarger made some over-the-top comments. Yet, this week, he and this 700,000-member blue collar union took their stand based on the nitty gritty of what is at stake for America’s working class in this election. It was a significant rejection of all the b-s the anti-worker, anti-family, anti-women, anti-democracy McCain-Palin campaign is spewing.

Yet a Google search today turned up barely a word about this in the corporate media.
Aside from our newspaper, you have to go to the Machinists web site to get any information about it.

Likewise, Hillary Clinton’s rousing speech to that convention, and her campaign tour of Florida, drew skimpy and tepid coverage in the corporate media.

The IAM notes that:

The packed convention hall rose to their feet repeatedly during Clinton's remarks and displayed unequivocal support for her request to back the candidacy of Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

"You were with me from the start, and I want you to know that I will stand with you as we try to change what's going on in this country," Clinton told the delegates. "I believe this country is worth fighting for, and that's why I am fighting to elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States.

"I don't think there's ever been higher stakes in an election than what we're facing this November. Barack and I may have started on different paths, but we are on one journey now, and it's a journey to take back our country because Americans do better when we have a Democratic president," declared Clinton.

"I know Senator Obama. I've seen his passion and determination. He understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges around the world," said Clinton. "We've got to start with a president who actually understands the changes we have to make. And no one has more at stake in this election than the American labor movement."

Immediately following her remarks, delegates unanimously passed a resolution endorsing Barack Obama for president. "This union is not half-hearted with its endorsements," said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger, who was an early and strong supporter of Sen. Clinton in the primary race. "We will have boots on the ground in every state to make sure our members understand that Barack Obama is the best chance in a generation to reclaim the American Dream for working families."

The endorsement of Obama will trigger a massive education campaign among IAM members and extensive publicity in union publications and worksites nationwide. The IAM is a significant political presence in the key industrial states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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