And it's not just lip service with President Obama and Vice President Biden. Over and over again, they've assured union members that we'll have a place at the table when it comes to important decisions about the economy.
President Obama truly believes that labor is not the "other"--and that unions are essential to our economy. He said so again when addressing the AFL-CIO yesterday:
I want to repeat something that those of you who joined us for the Task Force announcement heard me say: I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, and to my administration, labor unions are a big part of the solution. We need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests – because we cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement.In his remarks, the President also outlined briefly what his adminstration had already done in a just a brief time to advance the rights of working families in this country. He spoke of signing the Lily Ledbetter Act into law, to ensure equal pay for equal work, and of signing a bill expanding SCHIP for children's health care coverage. The President also restated his commitment to health care for all and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.
And President Obama also spoke of some important appointments which will prove invaluable to union members and working Americans in the coming months:
I’m also pleased to have nominated Hilda Solis, a daughter of union members and a lifelong champion for working families, to be my Secretary of Labor – and that Vice President Joe Biden has agreed to lead my administration’s Task Force on Middle Class Working Families. This Task Force will work hand in hand with my cabinet and White House agencies – as well as with all of you – to focus on growing and sustaining the middle class.UFCW members and union members across the nation worked tirelessly to elect President Obama, because we knew he'd be an advocate for the hardworking men and women that make our country run. And we continue to see nothing but positive developments coming out of the White House in regards to unions and to the interests of working families nationwide. As the President made clear yesterday, unions "will always have a seat at the table."
Click here to read the President's full remarks yesterday on unions.