A message from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa

The last time voters had a chance to send the country in a new direction it didn't work out so well. With the economy in shambles, a continuing jobs exodus and a president who remains shamelessly ignorant to the woes of working families, George Bush led us down the wrong fork in the path.

The 2008 presidential election is our opportunity to choose a new direction, a new path.

Barack Obama is the one candidate who is best suited to lead our country in such a direction.

After polling our membership and surveying our regional and local leaders, the 1.4 million member Teamsters Union is proud to endorse Senator Obama in his bid to become president of the United States.

This endorsement begins a partnership to change America. Together, we will reinvent the political process and fight to give a voice to working families who have been ignored by George Bush and the Republican Party for the past eight years.

We have had the opportunity to talk candidly with Sen. Obama on several occasions about the many needs of working Americans. To that end, Senator Obama agrees with a core group of legislative goals that are essential to our union and to the well-being of our country's workforce.

The Employee Free Choice Act is true labor law reform that will protect the rights of workers and strengthen their ability to join a union and negotiate a first contract. Enacting this legislation is a top priority of Senator Obama-he even co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate. Seventy percent of Americans would join a union if given a fair chance to do so-a level playing field. The Employee Free Choice Act does just that. It gives workers the opportunity to join together and form a union without employer intimidation, threats or retaliation. Together with Senator Obama and a pro-worker, pro-cloture Senate, we will win EFCA for America's workers.

Senator Obama also understands that America needs fair trade policies that will create a level playing field with our trading partners. He understands that the corporate race to the bottom has had a devastating impact on our economy and our communities. Senator Obama also understands that the trade policies of the Bush administration have done nothing to raise the standards of workers globally. We will work together to achieve a better balance-to keep good jobs in America and to raise wages, establish benefits and improve working conditions for workers abroad.

He understands what real people are going through. He will fight for an improved health care system, retirement security and good jobs. He will join us in our commitment to rebuild our nation's transportation infrastructure and will make appointments that make sense - people who will protect workers. In his administration, Senator Obama will ensure our toys and food are safe, that the Environmental Protection Agency actually protects the environment, enforce worker safety laws and wage and hour laws.

The Teamsters Union has been very fortunate during this election season as every candidate has been a friend of working families. Unlike recent elections, much of the debate has centered on the challenges working-class Americans face and the solutions to those challenges.

It is a debate worth having and it is a battle that requires the resources of our entire nation.

Let's join together and change the direction of our great nation. Let's choose the alternate path. Let's elect Barack Obama!



© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen