IAM Leaders Endorse Gephardt
 
Cincinnati, OH, July 11, 2003 Nearly 700 elected leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) voted to endorse Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt for president following a rousing address at the union's national staff conference in Cincinnati, OH.
 

The endorsement makes the IAM the first major labor union to express a preference among the 9 candidates hoping to win the Democratic nomination for president.
 

"Dick Gephardt has earned our support. His commitment to working families and union members has never been in doubt," said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. "In fight after fight, he's been at our side. It's time for us to stand together once again."

 

The Machinists' backing for Gephardt brings critical grassroots support in key battleground states. Nearly half the IAM's 720,000 members will get to vote on or before Super Tuesday on March 2. More than 9,000 Machinists are registered in Iowa and New Hampshire alone. Another 140,000 will have a chance to vote by mid-February.
 

"For the first time, our membership strengths match up with the political calendar to give our members a unique opportunity," said Buffenbarger. "We know too well how elections can be decided in a single state by a handful of votes.
 

"Since the start of the recession, the IAM has been anxious to partner with a candidate willing to fight for jobs in aerospace, air transport and manufacturing," said Buffenbarger. "The tax cuts and dividend schemes of the current administration do absolutely nothing for the 90,000 IAM members laid off in the past two years. We simply cannot afford to wait any longer."
 

The Machinists Union traditionally endorses presidential candidates closer to the general election. "Given the dismal state of our economy and the importance of the upcoming election, we believe early involvement is essential to give our members and this candidate the chance they both deserve," said Buffenbarger.
 

The IAM is one of the largest and most politically active trade unions in the U.S. and represents nearly 720,000 active and retired union members throughout North America. For additional information about the IAM, visit their website at www.goiam.org.