A Fired Up Obama Hammers Republicans For Assaulting The Middle Class Via Attacks On Unions

President Obama

President Obama is hosting the first-ever White House Summit on Worker Voice today, during which he condemned the “culture of greed” that steps on workers’ protections and rights.

The President talked about the importance of unions and said that when people attack unions, they are attacking the middle class. His entire speech made the case for the importance of unions and collective bargaining– for workers to have a seat at the table.

Obama introduced a common set of principles that helped build this country, including the right to, without fear, join a union or some other way of advocating for yourself at work:

The President said Americans are working harder than ever to bring this country back after the worst crisis in his lifetime in 2007. “We’re on pace to sell more cars th0an in any year since 2001… We’ve seen stronger job growth and manufacturing since the 1990s…. For the first time on record, more than 90% of Americans have health insurance.”

“So we’ve made progress together, at a time when America’s economy was flat on its back, we took some tough steps, not always popular,” President Obama said. The Democrat said it wasn’t enough to get back to where we were before Lehmans, as there were income inequality problems that started long before that which need to be addressed.

“If you work hard in America, you should actually be able to take care of those you love,” Obama said.

The President said the biggest challenge America continues to have is that everyone who works hard should have economic security. Obama emphasized, “Wages need to raise more quickly… and in order to do that, workers need a voice, a voice that generates middle class security.”

“But if employers are able to use these factors to weaken workers’ voices and give them a take it or leave it deal in which they don’t ever have a chance to ever save for the kind of retirement they’re looking for, if we don’t refashion the social compact so that workers are able to be rewarded properly for the work they put in, we’re going to have a problem.”

Speaking to the room full workers, labor leaders, Members of Congress (Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Al Franken among them) and forward-thinking business leaders, President Obama passionately made the case that hard work should offer a measure of security, “We gotta make sure that… hard work guarantees some security.”

Obama said, “The middle class itself was built on a union label.” Extolling the benefits of unions for everyone, he laid out some of the benefits of a union, “Good pay. Benefits. Workplace safety. Work-family balance. Skills training. The freedom to organize. That’s what unions secured.”

The President explained that special interests sold the American people on the idea that worker protections, including unions, would hurt their job prospects, so union enrollment dropped. People felt less confident about negotiations.

President Obama condemned the culture of greed, “Our culture as a whole started somehow extolling ‘greed is good’ instead of ‘how do we work together to create a good society for everybody’. Jobs as a consequence began to pay less, offering fewer benefits.”

“The bottom line is as union membership has fallen, inequality has risen. .. I believe when folks attack unions, they’re attacking the middle class,” the President said. “In today’s economy we should be making it easier, not harder, to join a union.”

The President was introduced by Terrence Wise, a second-generation fast food worker and father of three daughters, who has worked for two decades but makes only $8. Wise’s mother was also in the audience, and the two haven’t seen each other for years because neither, as fast food workers, make enough for an out of state visit.

Wise is a member of the National Organizing Committee for the Fight for $15 movement, which according to a pool report, is a campaign by underpaid working Americans to boost wages and strengthen their freedom to form unions without retaliation.

President Obama was on fire during this speech, speaking about an issue close to his heart — the fate of the middle class and the importance of unions in building and protecting the middle class.

The President has been relentless about advocating for better wages, a higher minimum wage, and more security for working people. And although he’s been obstructed at every turn by Republicans, he has found ways around them like raising the wage for federal workers and working with neighboring state leaders to raise the wage state by state.

34 Replies to “A Fired Up Obama Hammers Republicans For Assaulting The Middle Class Via Attacks On Unions”

  1. Giving middle class lunch money to illegals, and it is, of course, the republicans and libertarians’ fault. Last 7 years, more businesses closed down than the number of new start-up businesses.
    Did I mention that I am so smart but I have my grades and thesis sealed for good? Just saying, no offense.

  2. Nice talk. Always the talk.

    Why didn’t Obama actually DO something to help unions for the last eight years?
    What happened to card check. What happened to putting on your “walking” shoes and picketing with a union on strike?

    All so much talk. Empty talk. Wasted eight years. Blah blah blah blah. Thanks for nuttin’ Obama.

  3. I never heard of having one’s grades or theses permanently sealed, and I have a couple of advanced degrees. What happened to you, Fibbernazi? Did your work turn out to be plagiarized?

  4. PBO can put his money where his mouth is by nixing immediately the TPP and pushing Congress to repeal any and all so-called free trade agreements.
    Until then, I’ll assume he’s just saying one thing and doing another, giving lip service to union building with one hand while pushing for free trade agreements and coddling banksters with the other.
    I voted for Obama twice and feel betrayed by his mere lip service to the working and middle class.

  5. I hear the Wizard of Oz can get a heart for you.
    You have to boast as to how “smart” you are? really?? are you trying to sugarcoat how ignorant you really are??
    That’s something a 2 years old would try to brag about.

    Report: CEOs Earn 331 Times As Much As Average Workers, 774 Times As Much As Minimum Wage Earners

    GOP blocks minimum-wage hike

    I see you didn’t bother to post a link to your bullshit.

  6. Look why business have closed
    Senate Republicans Block Democrats’ Anti-Outsourcing Plan
    Senate GOP kills measure to curb job ‘outsourcing’
    GOP voters nostalgic for outsourcing, unemployment and weaker job creation

    Conservatives always point to manufacturing blue collar cities such as Detroit, Baltimore and Chicago as Democratic failures; it goes so far beyond that. For the simple minded, their fall is in direct correlation with the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, which believe it or not is the fault of both parties. Yet it’s mainly the Republicans who don’t care about bringing those jobs back or increasing taxes on the American businesses that choose to outsour…

  7. Thanks for NOTHING tea bag/repub led congress.

    Congress approves plan to allow pension cuts
    “More than a million retired and current truck drivers, construction workers and other union workers could see their pension benefits cut now that Congress passed a proposal aimed at shoring up some of the nation’s biggest pensions.

    Tacked on as an amendment to the government’s $1.1 trillion spending bill, the proposal was approved by the Senate late Saturday night. ”

    GOP blocks minimum-wage hike

  8. Do you have an idea what might be in TPP? Haven’t been able to find anything stating what’s in it, got a link? I’d trust Prez Obama before I take the word of those NAZI employees in the House or Senate.

  9. The middle class is still fired up about losing the insurance and doctors they liked because of the Community Organizer Healthcare. IF YOU LIKE YOUR INSURANCE YOU CAN KEEP IT! IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR, YOU CAN STILL HAVE THE SAME DOCTOR.
    Read my LIPS, you can keep both…..

  10. Dchefron- I know enough that I asked you the questions in another thread.

    1) Do the other countries have to meet or exceed our minimum wage.
    2) Do the other countries have to meet or exceed our environmental protections.
    3) Do the other countries have to meet or exceed our safety standards.
    4) Does the corporate tax meet our standards.

    If the answer is no to these 4 than it is a bad deal. Corporations will leave the US taking the jobs with them. They will exploit the low wage workers and environment when given the opportunity. It will continue to stagnate wages in the U.S. hurting the middle class and poor. If the answer is no to any of these 4 questions than it is a gift to the corporations and knife in the heart of the American worker.

  11. Every trade deal we have entered into over the past 25 years has been a complete disaster for the American work force….do you somehow think this will be different??

  12. Bernie isn’t a democrat and he is against all deals and refused to even read it.

    Brown and Warren etc. Have issues with specific parts of the deal.

    Hillary has a problem with specific details within the nearly finished deal. If they are resolved she will support it.

    Don’t lump my girl in with that bunch.

    She wrote about the issues in her book years ago and as she said she opposes some deals and is for others.

    Her Wall Street plan is coming out next.

    It was worked on by a panel of experts, the Dodd-Frank team. It ism more than Big Bank mentality narrow view focus.

    She is never one to stick to her Guns when things change around her.

    If you remain stuck in the past you get run over by rush out the door to the future.

    The world changes, we must too.

  13. Oh and Randy the polls have always showed the majority of Americans want trade.

    Trade improves the economy and most people want deals to help free trade increase business opportunities.

    It isn’t close it was around 60 – 40 or so in the past, prefer trade deals. Good ones with loopholes fixed.

  14. And I answer you in that thread. I only answer the first one because will you support the same agreement with Europe when our minimum wage don’t meet their standards and as usual you didn’t answer. I guess since they are white they get a pass

  15. So, to satisfy your hate, you ignore the importance and positives the Prez is forwarding about the American middle class and the unions that were rapes by the koch sucking governor here in WI.
    Very intelligent segue there.

    The issue in THIS section is about what the Prez said concerning unions and WE(apparently not you)of the American middle class.
    Ask someone with a functioning mind to explain how that attention separation works.

  16. “Bob” using RWNJ-talking points is a dead giveaway he’s a RWNJ, zerosumgame0005. We get them here from time to time.

  17. Yes, I would back a deal where the minimum wage is higher than ours. That is a good trade deal for us and a bad one for them.

    I do not lump the republican Hillary in with democrats like Warren and Brown. You keep pointing out how Sanders is not a democrat, however he supports democratic views more than big money Hillary.

    The way the democratic establishment has acted this past year has made me start to believe the democratic party has left me when they support republican ideas and start giving the republican speak like Hillary and her supporters.

    I do not know where that poll came from, but everybody I know personally, is against these trade deals. I am for trade also, but not where the workers get hammered, and that is what is going to happen with this deal and everyone knows it. Even the people for the deal are passing a bill to help out for the jobs lost. There is a report out how this agreement will only help out people in the U.S. making over $85,000.

  18. For those that don’t know, some of the richest suburbs in the country surround Detroit MI, especially to the north but also to the west. Piss on the inner city.

    And it will be happening in your town soon, if it hasn’t started already.

    Gotta move further and further out from the stinking inner city. But hey, the Detroit metropolitan area is a great place to live.

    BTW, Michiganders buy Ohio State season tickets every year just to guarantee themselves a seat every other year when THE GAME is played in the Horseshoe.

  19. Also BTW, OSU increased the seating capacity of the Horseshoe by removing the running track for Track and Field, lowering the field, and adding additional seats for football. For Track they built the Jesse Owens Stadium. Great place. That is where the Ohio Special Olympics summer games are held.


  20. Edward Bird,

    St. Ronnie in effect killed the union movement when he fired the Air Traffic Controllers. The Corporatists, not being dumb, said if Reagan can do it, why can’t we? Adios unions.

    Then when St. Ronnie said let’s go the 401K route, no more pensions, the downward spiral for Joe Middle Class and Joe Working Class took off in earnest.

    St. Ronnie, Baah!!! Worst president ever.

  21. Bob Thomas,

    As I stated before, corporatists ain’t dumb. Says the corporatist, why should we pay through the nose to provide health insurance to our employees when Obamacare will do it for us and we pay nothing? Tell me I am wrong.

    The games are just beginning.

    What this nation needs is Medicare for all; a “Canada Deluxe” type of health care system if you will.

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