It’s been said the political climate in Washington for organized labor hasn’t been this sunny in more than 30 years. The clearing skies clear the way for federal OSHA, whose leadership team has close ties to labor, to embark on its most ambitious agenda since the days of President Jimmy Carter
Evidence of this new climate was obvious in President Obama’s speech to the AFL-CIO annual convention held in September in Pittsburgh.
“Thank you so much, everybody. You know, I tell you what, the White House is pretty nice, but there's nothing like being back in the House of Labor.”
“Brothers and sisters… this is about all of us. Because when hardworking Americans … succeed â€” that's when organized labor succeeds. And when organized labor succeeds â€”that's when our middle class succeeds. And when our middle class succeeds -- that's when the United States of America succeeds. That's what we're fighting for.”
“That's the future I want to build. That's the future the AFL-CIO wants to build. That's the future the American people want to build.”
“We'll grow our middle class bybuilding a stronger labor movement. That's why I named Hilda Solis,daughter of a union member, as our new Labor Secretary. Hilda and I know that whether we're in economic â€” good economic times or bad economic times, labor is not the problem â€” labor is part of the solution.”
“That's whywe've begun reversing and replacing old anti-labor executive orders, policies with ones that protect your benefits, and protect your safety, and protect your rights to organize and collectively bargain. That's why the very first bill I signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Act to uphold the basic principle of equal pay for equal work. And that's why Istand behind the Employee Free Choice Actâ€” because if a majority of workers want a union, they should get a union.”
“And I know that if America can come together… then we will not only make life better for steelworkers… not only make life better for members of the AFL-CIO, but will make possible the dreams of middle-class families and make real the promise of the United States of America for everybody. That's what we're fighting for. That's what this White House is committed to. That's what the AFL-CIO is committed to. And arm in arm, we are going to get this done.”
“I got a question for you: Are you fired up?
“Are you ready to go?
“Are you fired up?
“Are you ready to go?
“Let's go get this done. Thank you, everybody. God bless you.”
President Obama to AFL-CIO: "Brothers and sisters... are you fired up?" (9/23
September 23, 2009