United Mine Workers endorses Obama for president

The United Mine Workers of America endorsed Barack Obama for president Wednesday despite his recent defeats in primaries in coal-producing states where many of the union's members vote. The endorsement continues organized labor's swing over to the Democratic front-runner as the primaries wrap up. Obama lost heavily to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in Tuesday's Kentucky primary and last week's West Virginia primary. "Senator Obama shares the values of UMWA members and our families. He understands and will fight for the needs our members have today and the hopes our members have for a secure future for themselves and their families," union president Cecil E. Roberts said. The Mine Workers - along with the United Steelworkers union - had originally endorsed former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. However, Edwards dropped out of the race and threw his support to Obama last week and was immediately followed by the Steelworkers union.