Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Union leaders stress over racism in rank-and-file

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DENVER — Racial prejudice is being cited among senior union leaders to explain Sen. Barack Obama’s difficulty in winning over support from white rank-and-file members.

Obama (D-Ill.) is counting on organized labor to help win him key electoral votes in Ohio, Michigan and other battleground states.

Karen Ackerman, political director for the AFL-CIO, acknowledged that Obama’s race is an important factor for some union members.

“This race is very complicated because there is an African-American candidate for president,” said Ackerman. “We feel there is a racial component for some union members, but we’re confident we can overcome that.”