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Kerry Endorsed by Large US Union Group - 2004-02-19

The AFL-CIO, a federation of unions representing more than 13 million American workers, has endorsed the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, John Kerry.

Senator Kerry picked up the AFL-CIO's endorsement despite his support for free trade, which the unions have blamed for sending millions of American jobs to other countries. Union president John Sweeney called the candidate a friend to working Americans and said the board decided unanimously to support him.

"This is a man who will not sign his name to a single trade agreement that does not include worker protections and environmental protections," he said.

In his remarks, Senator Kerry added that a push for affordable healthcare, an important issue for many working men and women, will be one of his legislative priorities, if he is elected president. "It will be the first legislation that I introduce in the United States Congress on behalf of the American people," he said.

Senator Kerry is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, having won 15 of the first 17 primaries and caucuses.