Pres. Obama Cautions Governors Against Villifying Public Workers or Trampling on their Rights

This statement made directly to U.S. governors is the second person statement by the President, and the latest among several by top administration officials, against the hostilities launched by Gov. Walker in Wisconsin:

Obama to Governors: Don't Vilify Public Workers
By Chris Good
The Atlantic

Addressing governors from around the country at the White House this morning, President Obama dedicated a moment of his speech to warning them not to vilify public workers.

"I believe that everybody should be prepared to give up something to solve our budget challenges," Obama said. "In fact, many public employees in your respective states have already agreed to cuts. But let me also say this: I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or when their rights are infringed upon."

Thousands of public employees have protested in Wisconsin and Ohio as Republicans have proposed stripping them of some collective bargaining rights, as part of new state budget plans. Pensions and compensation to unionized state and municipal workers have come under increasing fire from conservatives during the past year.

"We need to attract the best and brightest to public service," Obama said. "We're not going to attract the best teachers for our kids if they only make a fraction of what other professions make ... Yes, we need a conversation about pensions and Medicare and Medicaid and other promises that we've made as a nation, and those will be tough conversations and necessarily conversations."

Obama has himself into the discussion over public-workers unions early on in the Wisconsin showdown.

As protests first unfolded in Madison two weeks ago, Obama told a Milwaulkee TV station, "Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally seems like more of an assault on unions." Obama's grassroots political arm, Organizing for America (which is run by the Democratic National Committee), has reportedly assisted in organizing protests in Wisconsin, drawing some criticism from conservatives who see it as in appropriate for Obama's political operation to stir opposition to a state's governor.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama enjoyed significant support from major unions, which have rallied around the collective-bargaining fights in Wisconsin and Ohio. He has long supported some of labor's prized policy initiatives.

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  • @"Thomas" Amusing remark. Did you get it from the guy who hosts Meet the Press? He said the same thing, same quote, same sarcasm. No analysis.

    Posted by chuck m., 03/01/2011 9:36pm (8 years ago)

  • Once again, at Political Affairs, President Obama can do no wrong.

    This is what he promised in November 2007 :

    "And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I am in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner."

    Barack Obama

    Source: firedoglake website

    Posted by Thomas Kenny, New York, NY, 03/01/2011 3:44pm (8 years ago)

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