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Obama Endorsed by Several Entertainment Unions

Presidential Debate Obama - H 2012
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AFM and IATSE cite the president's support for working people; WGA West's PAC weighs in as well.

In separate actions, the American Federation of Musicians, IATSE and the WGA West’s PAC have endorsed President Obama’s re-election bid.

The AFM endorsement cited “the progress Obama has made in appointing members to the National Labor Relations Board who understand the needs of working people; reversing the anti-labor legacy he inherited, including advocating for the Employee Free Choice Act that ensures workers’ rights to organize; pushing for the elimination of tax breaks for companies that outsource American jobs; and calling on the rich to pay their fair share of taxes."

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“President Obama inherited a real mess four years ago and has stood by the working people in this country during our emergence from the Great Recession,” AFM president Ray Hair said. “He offers the best hope for recovery and prosperity over the next four years, and he deserves a second term as our president.”

The AFM also cited health care reform, saying that the Affordable Care Act will expand health care coverage to the uninsured, including many independent contractor musicians.

IATSE president Matthew Loeb said in a statement that the union is endorsing Obama because “he has pledged his support for all working people across this nation.” In contrast, he said, Mitt Romney “wants nothing more than to destroy us and the entire labor movement, and take the voice of workers in general out of the political process.”

No statement was immediately available from the WGA West PAC explaining its endorsement.

The DGA, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA East don’t endorse candidates. However, the first two haven’t been entirely absent this electoral season: SAG-AFTRA and the DGA – as well as AFM Local 47 (Los Angeles) and some IATSE locals – have come out against California Proposition 32, which would prevent corporations and unions from spending employee or union money collected from wages for political purposes. Opponents call the apparent evenhandedness deceptive, because only labor unions, not companies, collect funds in this fashion.

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