The AFL-CIO, the U.S.'s largest labor organization, endorsed Barack Obama on Thursday, paving the way for the organization's money and manpower to get behind the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The unanimous decision from the 56 member union presidents and other member of the executive council was expected once Hillary Clinton dropped out of primary contest with Obama. The organization declined to make an endorsement during the primaries, but a dozen individual unions did endorse Clinton, according to the Associated Press.
"Barack Obama has proven from his days as an organizer, to his time in the Senate and his historic run for the presidency, that he's leading the fight to turn around America," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in a statement. "We're proud to stand with Sen. Obama to help our nation chart a course that will improve life for generations of working people and our children."
The unions will now be spending parts of its $200 million war chest to help Obama, as well as get-out-the-vote efforts which are critical to Democratic campaigns. They have also launched a new Web site, Meet Barack Obama.
"Our program is going to be worker to worker and neighbor to neighbor. We're ready to mobilize. We're ready to rock and roll. This country and our people are ready for change," said Gerald McEntee, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, who was one of Clinton's top union supporters and is also the AFL-CIO's political committee chair.
The AP reports that between the AFL-CIO and the rival Change to Win labor organization (which has already endorsed Obama), the nation's labor movement plans to spend around $300 million.