by Clyde Weiss | May 01, 2012
Pres. Barack Obama yesterday reiterated his support for collective bargaining during a speech to the AFL-CIO, referring to legislation that weakens it as ‘right-to-work-for-less laws.’
“I believe our economy is stronger when workers are getting paid good wages and good benefits,” he said. “I believe the economy is stronger when collective bargaining rights are protected.”
“When folks try and take collective bargaining rights away by passing so-called ‘right to work’ laws that might also be called ‘right-to-work-for-less,’ laws, that’s not about economics, that’s about politics,” he said.
President Obama also cited his decisions to reverse policies that undermined worker rights: “That’s why we passed the Fair Pay Act to help stop pay discrimination,” he said. “That’s why we’ve supported Davis-Bacon. That’s why we reversed the ban on Project Labor Agreements, because we believe in those things as part of a strategy to rebuild America.”
President Obama vowed to continue standing up for workers as long as he is in the White House. “I am going to keep it up,” he said, “because the right to organize and negotiate fair pay for hard work, that’s the right of every American, from the CEO in the corner office all the way to the worker who built that office.”
The President’s remarks come at a time when those rights are threatened by corporate-backed lawmakers nationwide. AFSCME’s International Executive Board voted to endorse President Obama’s re-election.