The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) voted Tuesday night to endorse Barack Obama for re-election in 2012, promising to launch a robust campaign to mobilize their 2.1 million members.
“President Obama is the only candidate for president who shares our vision of America as a land of opportunity for everyone,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “We need a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent, and stand with hard working families to say that the world’s wealthiest corporations must pay their fair share.”
The fact that the SEIU endorsed Obama is not surprising. The union spent tens of millions to help elect him in 2008. But the endorsement coming this early was unexpected.
Adopting the language of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, the SEIU said the endorsement was part of their “99 percent strategy” to help create jobs, end cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, make the rich pay their fair share and create a fair path to citizenship for immigrant workers. The union officially threw their support behind the ongoing protest on October 5.
“Our economy and democracy have been taken over by the wealthiest one percent,” Henry added. “These bankers and CEOs have used their wealth and excessive political influence to treat our state and federal governments like their personal cash drawer — spending lavishly on elections and then pressuring legislators to give them even more instead of creating jobs.”
“We will fight shoulder to shoulder alongside working families across this nation,” she concluded. “We will show the one percent that they aren’t the only ones willing to fight for America’s future.”
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union and the National Education Association have also endorsed Obama’s re-election bid.