|Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to over 800 delegates at the 2015 IAM National Staff Conference, New York, NY. (Photo: Bill Burke/Page One Photography)|
The Machinists Union today loudly 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.
Clinton spoke to more than 800 delegates today at the 2015 IAM National Staff Conference in New York, NY. Click here for photos from Clinton’s speech.
“I want to commit to you, right now, that I will do everything I can to see that incomes start growing again, that all the benefits of the recovery in our economy don’t go just to those at the top,” said Clinton. “The deck has been stacked in favor of those at the top. I want your help to reshuffle that deck.”
Clinton pledged to protect the right to collectively bargain, preserve Social Security and pensions, work toward paid leave and a raise in the minimum wage, rebuild American infrastructure and reignite the push to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. Clinton promised the IAM and the labor movement a seat at the table for all decisions affecting U.S. workers, including trade.
“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.”
Clinton pledged further to “pass new laws to make sure your organizing and collective bargaining are respected.”
“American workers are the hardest working, most productive workers in the world,” said Clinton. “It’s time your hard work paid off by realizing the benefit of the profits you helped to produce.”
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. Coupled with support from fellow labor unions and community allies, the impact of union “boots on the ground” is a worthy match for the unchecked millions in corporate contributions aimed squarely at Clinton.
“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.”