Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama Moves to Reverse Bush Labor Policies

President Obama: "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement."

from the New York Times:

The orders he signed, which union officials say will undo Bush administration policies that tilted toward employers, would require federal contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contracts change, and would make it more difficult for federal contractors to discourage union activities.

In addition, Mr. Biden said the first meeting of the previously announced task force “to bring together those Cabinet members who have the greatest impact on the well-being of the middle class” would be Feb. 27 in Philadelphia. The task force will look at issues as diverse as health care and college opportunities, Mr. Biden said, and will focus on “restoring the balance in the workplace.”

The task force will be led by Jared Bernstein, a prominent liberal economist who has been writing a study on the impact of Mr. Obama’s stimulus plan. The focus of the first meeting will be “green jobs, those jobs that pay well, can’t be outsourced and will help us move toward a cleaner, more self-sufficient energy future,” Mr. Biden said.

Future monthly meetings will be held across the country to discuss the mundane but essential concerns of working people like child care, workplace safety and retirement security, the vice president said. The administration has set up a Web site,, that Mr. Biden said would tell people what their government was doing and invite them to share their thoughts.

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