AFL-CIO Vows 400,000 Volunteers for Obama Election, Trumka Says

The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, may deploy as many as 400,000 volunteers this year in its effort to re-elect Barack Obama, who President Richard Trumka said helped save tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.

The volunteers, accounting for about 3 percent of the 12 million members in AFL-CIO affiliates, will talk to friends, neighbors and co-workers in a get-out-the-vote effort, Trumka said today at a meeting of the Building and Construction Trades Department in Washington. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, wouldn’t look out for workers’ interest and is beholden to wealthy donors, Trumka said.

“If Mitt Romney is elected president, I guarantee you we’ll be back in a recession,” he said.

The AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed Obama’s re-election as president at a meeting in March, citing his efforts to overhaul Wall Street trading rules and rewrite U.S. health-care laws.

Labor unions spent a record $450 million in 2008 electing Obama and Democrats to Congress, though haven’t said how much they plan to spend in 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: William McQuillen in Washington at bmcquillen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

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