President Obama Honors Workers and Unions on Labor Day

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President Obama on Sept. 4 issued a 2009 Labor Day proclamation that honors the contributions of working families and the labor movement to the nation's economy.

"By fighting for decent working conditions, as well as fair wages and benefits, organized labor has stood for the rights of everyday Americans," the proclamation states. "With determination and commitment, labor has advocated for all working families and all have benefited from the fruits of their struggles." As they have in the past, the statement says, working people will again help the country emerge from the current economic crisis.

President Obama used his weekly radio address on Sept. 5 to highlight some of the encouraging recent indicators that point toward an economic recovery. He also proposed some new initiatives to promote retirement savings and security.

"This is a difficult time for our country," the president said. "But I am confident that we can meet the challenges we face and leave behind something better; that we are ready to take responsibility for our future once again—as individuals and as a nation. I hope that all of you have the chance to enjoy this Labor Day weekend with family and friends. But my larger hope and expectation is that next Labor Day, the economic storms we're weathering now will have given way to brighter and more prosperous times."

During the San Francisco stop of the AFT's Back-to-School '09 tour on Sept. 4, AFT president Randi Weingarten was one of the speakers at an annual pre-Labor Day breakfast featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi vowed that Congress will pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which will give more employees the chance to form unions.

September 5, 2009