President Barack Obama shakes hands with German President Joachim Gauck during a meeting in the Oval Office. The two leaders participated in a bilateral meeting that marked the 25th anniversary of German reunification
President Barack Obama is introduced by Terrance Wise, an organizer and fast food worker, at the White House Summit on Worker Voice
President Barack Obama speaks during White House Summit on Worker Voice in the East Room of the White House. The summit is an effort to give unions, organizers and some businesses a platform to discuss wages and other issues
President Barack Obama speaks during a event co-hosted by coworker.org during the White House Summit on Worker Voice. On stage with the president is Michelle Miller, co-founder of coworker.org
The full conference with President Obama and Vice President Biden’s remarks
President Barack Obama shakes a present that he received following a conversation co-hosted by coworker.org
President Barack Obama signs a Memorandum of Disapproval regarding a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of a rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board relating to representation case procedures. The joint resolution passed by Congress is a rarely used oversight tool that allows legislators to block regulatory actions
President Obama signs Memorandum of Disapproval, vetoing measure blocking NLRB rules on union elections. http://t.co/BuKbShDWEk
Throughout Black History Month, I’ve included tweets in ‘A Tweet Or Two’ about African-American heroes who with brains, love, strength, blood, sweat, tears, and death; built this nation to what it is today. As Black History Month draws to a close, we celebrate the known and unsung heroes who gave everything and continue to give everything to make this country live up to its promise of “all men are created equal.”
AFTUnion: 13 Labor Events And Organizers Who We Should Teach About During Black History Month
Lucy Parsons was a radical labor organizer born in Texas. In the early 1870s, she and her husband had to flee Texas because of intolerant reactions to their interracial marriage. Throughout her subsequent career in Chicago, she wrote for various leftist and labor publications. In 1905, she participated in the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World. In 2004, the city of Chicago named a park after her.
Randolph is one of the most important figures in both black history and labor history. In addition to his work with the Pullman porters (see No. 2, above) and the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, he prominently pushed for civil rights during World War II. He planned a 100,000 person march on Washington during the war, which led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign an executive order ending discrimination in defense industries. After the order was signed, the march was canceled.
In the late 1860s, George Pullman hired former slaves to work on his railroad sleeping cars. He exploited their labor, with each porter making the equivalent of about $22,000 a year (in today’s dollars) while working under unfair conditions, including 100-hour workweeks. These workers formed a union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; in 1925, it became the first African-American labor union to receive a charter in the American Federation of Labor.
Rosina Tucker was an important figure in the foundation of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Tucker was married to a railroad porter and became involved in the union. She visited the homes of over 300 workers to secretly collect their union dues, and in 1938 she was elected secretary-treasurer of the union’s auxiliary. She continued her union involvement, helping organize teachers, laundry workers and railway clerks in Washington, D.C.
In the 1920s, the Chicago Flat Janitors were an integrated local union, which was considered radical at the time. The union worked to include black members in leadership roles, including its vice president, Seymour Miller. The union eventually grew and today is known as the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU.
Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House, including meetings with union and progressive leaders –
Mary Kay Henry, SEIU * Lee Saunders, AFSCME * Dennis Van Roekel, NEA * Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO * Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress * John Podesta, Center for American Progress * Bob Greenstein, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities * Laura Burton Capps, Common Purpose Project * Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare * Justin Ruben, MoveOn * Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change
Wednesday: Holds a news conference in the East Room. Will also meet with more than a dozen CEOs representing major corporations
Thursday: Travels to the New York City area to view the storm damage, talk with citizens who are recovering from the storm and thank first responders who put their lives at risk to protect their communities
Friday: Meets with Congressional leaders of both parties at the White House
NYT: Having helped President Obama win re-election, labor leaders will meet with him on Tuesday and intend to offer their robust support for what they view as his mandate: stand tough against cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and keep pushing to raise taxes on the wealthy.
…. “We expect to have the president’s back on the agenda that the voters just declared support for,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which spent $75 million in backing Mr. Obama and various Democrats this year. “The president has always said he needs a movement behind his mandate.”
Mr. Obama has talked of going beyond the Beltway to stir up support for his plans, including increasing taxes on households with incomes of more than $250,000. Union leaders have made clear that they are happy to turn out the troops to – in a tactic from the Franklin D. Roosevelt era – “make him do it.” Union members held rallies in 100 communities last Thursday as a first step in promoting the president’s budget plan.
The Oval: President Obama celebrated working people on this Labor Day, but also blitzed Mitt Romney’s economic plan with football metaphors.
“There’s a flag on the play,” Obama told crowd of auto workers in Toledo, Ohio, at one point.
Riffing on Romney’s weekend claim that the economy needs “a new coach” in the White House, Obama said that “the problem is that everybody’s already seen his economic playbook … we know what’s in it.”
The “first down” is tax cuts for the wealthy that will lead to tax hikes for the middle class, Obama said. “Second down” is an audible” ending financial and environmental regulations. Romney’s “third down” is a “Hail Mary” of cuts that would “end Medicare as we know it.”
Obama’s suggestion for the fourth down of the Romney plan: “Punt it away! … It won’t work! It won’t win the game!
“You don’t need that coach,” he said of Romney. “That’s a losing season!”
Cognidissidence: The right wing propaganda site Politico was so eager to try to do a smear job on President Barack Obama and his visit to Milwaukee that they failed to look before they leaped and ended up landing into a pile of foolishness with both feet.
Yup, they mistook the Wisconsin state flag as being the flag of Wisconsin Local 1848.
Once they realized how stupid they looked, they deleted the post …. but thanks to the power of Google Cache, you can see it for yourself.
Donovan Slack is the ‘reporter’ who had the story on Politico about Michelle Obama buying $50,000 worth of lingerie …. but never followed it up with the admission from the English paper, that first reported it, that it was untrue.
Greg Sargent: It isn’t just Richard Cordray. Obama is also set to use recess appointments to install his picks to the National Labor Relations Board, according to White House officials and others familiar with ongoing discussions.
The move, which is arguably as important as the Cordray appointment, will ratchet up opposition from Republicans and make this an even bigger fight, since they have been attacking the NLRB regularly for its moves to streamline union elections and inform workers of their rights.
…. Obama’s move, which will help energize unions in advance of the 2012 election, is yet another sign that he is determined to circumvent GOP opposition and make government functional again by any means necessary….
ThinkProgress: Republicans have shown outrage at Obama for using his recess appointment powers with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, and similar outrage is likely to follow the news of the NLRB appointments. But the past three Republican presidents also made recess appointments to the NLRB. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush each made three recess appointments to the NLRB, while George W. Bush made seven such appointments.
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka: We commend the President for exercising his constitutional authority to ensure that crucially important agencies protecting workers and consumers are not shut down by Republican obstructionism. Working families and consumers should not pay the price for political ploys that have repeatedly undercut the enforcement of rules against Wall Street abuses and the rights of working people.
NYT: A defiant President Barack Obama, tired of Senate Republicans stalling his nominee to lead a new consumer protection agency, put him in charge Wednesday over their opposition.
“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” the president said.
… With a director in place, Obama said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial operations often blamed for practices that helped undermine the economy.
Obama announced the move with Cordray by his side before a cheering crowd in Ohio … “Every day that we waited was another day when millions of Americans are left unprotected,” Obama.
Joe Biden: “Tonight the people of Ohio delivered a gigantic victory for the middle class with their overwhelming rejection of a Republican attempt to strip away collective bargaining rights. Fundamental fairness has prevailed. By standing with teachers and firefighters and cops, Ohio has sent a loud and clear message that will be heard all across the country: The middle class will no longer be trampled on. The people of Ohio are to be congratulated.”
Steve Benen: Going into Election Day 2011, the conventional wisdom said that voters would offer some clues about prevailing political attitudes and what’s to come in 2012. As the dust settles on last night’s results, if the conventional wisdom is right, Republican optimism about next year is badly misplaced.
From coast to coast, Democrats and progressive goals not only won, but in most instances, won big. Some of the highlights….
4:15: The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Silva of Portugal.
8:35 PM: Delivers remarks at the National Women’s Law Center’s annual awards dinner.
Father of the year Joe Walsh’s meltdown:
Bloomberg: The Senate President of Arizona and author of the state’s hard-line laws against illegal immigration lost a recall election seen as a bellwether on “extreme” politics.
Republican Russell Pearce, lost by 53 percent to 45 percent with all precincts reported, according to the Maricopa County Elections office. Pearce, 64, was defeated by Jerry Lewis, a Republican school administrator who has said he opposes Pearce’s enforcement-only approach to immigration policy.
“There is a deep dissatisfaction in Arizona for what is viewed as politics in the extreme,” said Earl de Berge of the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center, a nonpartisan polling company. Pearce “symbolizes a very hard-nosed view on conservative policies.” The loss will show moderates that they can win in the state, de Berge said. “It is going to be a sea change in Arizona,” he said.
Robert Shrum: It’s natural for the GOP to dismiss the facts in favor of misreading the entrails of a temporary congressional gain (in New York) which will be reversed in 2012. But it’s stupid, a sign of panic, and a pathetic and depressing picture to see Democrats joining in….
…. among the disaffected are elements of the labor movement …. Good luck to any union that sits out or sloughs off in 2012; if they end up with Romney or Perry, it could mark the end of organized labor in America.
…. too many members of his own party in Congress who pushed the president for a jobs bill, paid for by taxes on the wealthy, are now validating Will Rogers’s observation that they “don’t belong to any organized party. They’re Democrats”. Some of them are beginning to pick the bill apart, pursuing parochial interests …. Sen. Sherrod Brown warns that Democrats have to “compromise to get this bill up and running”; everybody can’t have all they want. He’s right, and so is Nancy Pelosi that Democrats can recapture the House – if they hold their nerve and stand with the president…..
Finally comes my friend James Carville to argue in a pyrotechnic CNN piece that yes, the White House should “panic” …. As Bill Clinton’s campaign chief in 1992, Carville didn’t panic – he certainly didn’t fire himself – in the early summer of that year, when Clinton was in last place, at 22 percent, in a three-way race with Ross Perot and the first George Bush.
…. Carville is on target about one thing: Obama has to “make a case like a Democrat”. But that’s what this president is doing now…..
…. the GOP is doing its best to block recovery as a conscious strategy to reclaim the White House: kill jobs to get the job. But there is grave risk for Republicans in this transparent cynicism; the president has the voice, and we’ve learned before that he has the strength of will to set the choice and win the big battle. Indeed, that’s what makes the comparison with Carter absurd; from health reform to financial reform to the salvation of the auto industry and the prevention of depression, Obama has a historic record of achievement.
…. Obama is a fourth quarter player. And the fourth quarter has come. It’s time for the crybaby chorus to leave the critic’s row and get in the game. The president will do his part. And then his victory in the 2012 election will be remembered long after his phony defeat in a peculiar special election fades into a footnote.
The panic isn’t justified — and Democrats can’t afford it. Grow up. As Carville might say, there’s too much at stake, stupid.
Freep.com: President Barack Obama will join thousands of union members at Labor Day festivities in Detroit.
Obama will deliver remarks at a Labor Day event sponsored by the Metro Detroit Central Labor Council, the White House announced today.
Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams said Obama’s visit will likely mean there could be more than 100,000 people participating in the Labor Day parade and its associated activities. The typical crowd each year is 50,000 to 60,000, she said.
“We’re always ready for the president to join us, and we’re very pleased that he’s coming this year,” Williams said.
Williams said the event’s organizers do not expect Obama to walk in the parade itself; however, he will give a speech afterward at a location yet to be announced. The parade begins at about 9:30 a.m. on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit.
“We’d love it if he would march with us, right there in the leadership line, but I can understand how that could be complicated,” Williams said. “I’m sure the Secret Service wouldn’t like that very much.”