Political Action

Iron Workers Endorse Hillary Clinton
Letter from Eric Dean, General President

    Most of you know the Iron Workers have endorsed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for President of the United State.  Ironworkers are dedicating their time and effort into winning her the nomination.  Even in the rush of a hectic campaign season, it's important to take the time to explain the reasoning behind our endorsement, and what it will mean for ironworkers on the job.
    The International Association conducts regular polls of ironworkers to keep our finger on the pulse of our membership.  We ask about a number of important issues, and politics is one of them.  From these polls, we know that a majority of union ironworkers in the U.S. are Democrats.  We take our obligations to Republican members seriously, and regularly endorse labor-friendly GOP candidates.  Nevertheless, our union is founded on democratic principles, and our endorsement for the top office of the land should represent values of the majority of our membership.  And amongst the Democrats in our union, a majority favor Hillary Clinton.  Polls of other building trade unions show similar levels of support.
    Of course, an endorsement needs more than popular support to be meaningful.  The Iron Workers should only put our name on the line for candidates who will make our lives better.  The general executive council examined the records and commitments of each presidential candidate carefully.  Clinton's resume stood out.  The Secretary has devoted her life to public service.  She passed on lucrative corporate opportunities when she graduated from law school and instead worked to defend children struggling families.  As First Lady of Arkansas and later the United States, she was closely involved in policy and efforts to fix the broken healthcare system.  She was a quite workhorse in the U.S. Senate, stepping outside partisan politics to get things done.  Her tenure as Secretary of State equipped her with the experience needed to stand up for our country on the world stage.

    Throughout this impressive career, Hillary Clinton has stuck with the Iron Workers.  She kept a close relationship with our district council and locals while representing New York in the U.S. Senate.  She has been a champion for prevailing wage and project labor agreements, making sure our contractors can compete on a fair playing field for jobs.  She understands that good jobs depend on the right approach to trade, infrastructure and energy politics.  What sets her apart from other elected officials who share our values, however, is her ability to deliver on her promises, Hillary is the woman with a plan, and can provide the leadership our divided country needs.
    Just as much thought went into the timing of the announcement.  Some other unions have decided to wait out the primary and see who emerges in the general election.  It's a fair strategy, but not the one for us.  By endorsing early, before the primaries began, we got in on the ground floor of Clinton's campaign.  Other building trade unions saw similar qualities in Hillary Clinton, and endorsed shortly after us.  The Secretary's policy team has consulted us while developing her policy plans.  Having a voice in the next President's plan to support training and apprenticeships, for example, provides real value for ironworkers everywhere.  From training to energy to infrastructure, the Clinton team has sought our advice on how to make policy work for working people.
    Our union is much more than the 12 members of the executive council.  It's the 130,000 hardworking ironworkers of North America who make this union what it is.  Our endorsement must be more than a statement from International leadership.  We have to back up words with action.  There's no reason everyone reading this article can't contribute.  Take our your calendar, and set aside a weekend before this election to speak to your neighbors about Hillary.  Don't go at it alone - ironworkers need to stick together, so call the hall and see how your local is supporting the campaign.  Join the President's Club by contributing to IPAL in support of candidates like Hillary Clinton.  Most important of all, make plans for how your family will get to the polls and vote this November 8th.