The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has endorsed U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez in his bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger issued this statement:
“In the last election, the Democratic Party, the traditional party of labor and people who work for a living – and the supposed party of inclusion – spoke and acted in ways that at times disparaged and talked down to many of those workers who for decades had served as the Party’s core of support. The result was a historic shift in the way those former core supporters voted – and a significant number of members of our union were part of that major shift.
“The Democrats need a new leader who is committed to broadening the Party’s base, using a strong economic message that is truly inclusive of everyone, so it can get back to a winning coalition that put its arms around all workers, rather than the narrow focus on identity and cultural politics that alienated many of its core voters in the last election. In the race for Chair of the Democratic Party, our union believes Secretary Tom Perez is the person who has the right mix of personal background, progressive values, experience and total commitment to all workers, in all regions and states across the country to do just that.
“He’s the son of immigrants; he’s a tireless advocate for civil and human rights; he’s a strong progressive voice and from the time he was elected to the Montgomery County Council to his tenure as U.S. Secretary of Labor – where he crafted regulations improving overtime regulations for millions of Americans, strengthened worker safety protections and advocated for labor law reform and the expansion of workers’ rights – Tom Perez has made improving the lives of all workers his life’s mission. To have Secretary Perez as the Chair of one of our nation’s two major political parties would be a significant victory for workers across America.”