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Biden, Solis Tell Workers: ‘We Need Collective Bargaining’

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 11:08 AM
Original message
Biden, Solis Tell Workers: ‘We Need Collective Bargaining’

Biden, Solis Tell Workers: ‘We Need Collective Bargaining’

by James Parks,

Tens of thousands of working people under attack from Republican governors in 12 states received some high-level support and encouragement today. In a virtual town hall meeting this evening, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told the workers the Obama administration will stand with them and will stay with them to make sure their rights are protected.

Joined by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in the call, the Vice President opened with a quote from President Obama saying that “We can’t have a strong middle class without unions.” Then Vice President Biden added:

You built the middle class. This fight is not about wages or benefits; it’s about trying to break unions. We absolutely, positively need collective bargaining.

Solis also said our leaders should be focused on creating good jobs and helping working families get back to work.

That’s important to remember now that as states and cities grapple with enormous fiscal challenges and everyone we know is making sacrifices and meeting those challenges. But some states’ leaders have gone too far. Budget sacrifices are one thing, but having union members give up their rights is another.

As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

I truly believe this moment will be what we make of it. The teachers and firefighters and nurses and EMTs and snowplow drivers on the ground in a dozen states have provided the inspiration and shown us the way. Now we need to carry it forward – the attacks on workers’ rights are huge, but the courage and activism we’re seeing are even bigger. Together we can build a movement for real change.

more


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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Did Biden or Solis go to Madison last month, when they were needed? No.
Edited on Fri Mar-18-11 11:15 AM by leveymg
So, what's the point of posturing now? Where are the comfortable shoes? I want to see them.

Sorry, Day late and a Dollar short. That's no way to get yourselves reelected.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. "So, what's the point of posturing now? Where are the comfortable shoes?"
You're right, they should shut up and stay out of it. What good are they?

VP Biden's statement (Feb 24):

"Public employees are not the problem. The problem goes much deeper...We are going to see the economic conditions that they (Republicans) created used as an excuse to fundamentally go after the social agenda that the far right has been trying to accomplish for a long time."


Secretary Solis' statement (Feb. 26):

I’ve been following the developments in Wisconsin, and Ohio, and many other states across the country.

<...>

And we’ve seen our brothers and sisters in the public employees unions willing to give there share, and to negotiate in good faith to help their states get through tough times.

But the governors in Wisconsin and Ohio aren’t just asking workers to tighten their belts, they’re demanding that they give up their uniquely American rights as workers.

<...>

All these workers want is the opportunity to sit down at the table, like grown ups, and work together to solve problems.

That’s what collective bargaining is all about.


Sec. Hilda Solis: At the Table

Did Biden promise to put on "comfortable shoes"?


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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Biden nailed it:
"... (Republicans) created used as an excuse to fundamentally go after the social agenda that the far right has been trying to accomplish for a long time."

Of course we knew that, they knew that, I'm glad they acknowledged it publicly.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. What can you expect of any President in such a situation? He's said he supports
them all along, said it sounded to him like "union busting", Biden comes right out and says it's political and they're using it to forward their agenda. If they showed up in Madison, they'd be criticized for interfering in a State's affairs - big, bad, federal government wants to take over our State!

Although I would have loved to have seen them put on their comfortable shoes and march with the people, I'm not sure it would have been the right move to help them. :shrug:

The guy can do no right when it comes to them, and apparently you feel the same way.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. It was a testament to Pres. Obama's high sense of political wisdom that the WH stayed out of Madison
Edited on Fri Mar-18-11 12:30 PM by phleshdef
They weren't needed and the Wisconsin Democratic leadership are glad they stayed away. Had the President and the Whitehouse became aggressively involved, they would have played right into the Republican's hands as then the Republicans, Limbaugh, Hannity and the tea baggers would have had their opening to turn the whole thing into another political war with Obama, thus obfuscating what it really was, a class war declared on the people of Wisconsin.

My assertion has been 100% acknowledged by the 14 Democratic State Senators that fled the state in an attempt to prevent the vote from taking place. I think I'll take their view over yours as they actually have an idea about the political territory there in ways that you can't possibly have.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. "Wisconsin-14 interview excerpt: Pres.Obama was very supportive and we’re glad he didn’t come here"
"Well, well, well, what do you know. Not that I expect the kids to actually understand this, but the adults always knew he was doing the right – and especially the SMART thing here. From the fab-14 press conference yesterday:

Q: Obama disappointing you?

Erpenbach: No not at all. He was very supportive, a couple of different times, of public employees. He has a nation to sail through some rough waters right now. He was briefed 1-2 times a day, I don’t doubt him at all. Had he come here, it would have been more chaotic. I’m glad he didn’t come here.

Lena: I agree. It would have been about him, instead of the workers of WI. It would’ve been politicized, it would have been about the 2012 election."

http://blackwaterdog.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/wisconsin... /

I expect they feel the same way about Biden or Solis coming to Wisconsin.
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Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Bullshit. You're moving the goalposts again and you KNOW it.
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Greybnk48 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. Well, the message from Biden and Obama could not
be clearer...how about louder! :hi:
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Agree - but sometimes I wonder if Obama isn't wise to stay out of it because
there's such a strong contingent of people who truly hate him. "If Obama likes it, that Muslim who's trying to take away OUR country, then there must be something in it that will screw us over" -- stuff like that.

As long as the people who are involved KNOW he's supporting them, maybe that's the best tactic. But they DO have to let them know of their real support.


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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I don't think that's a good reason for the president to avoid it
Anything any Democrat does or says, whether moderate or liberal, is going to fodder for the right-wing message machine, and some Neanderthals are going to buy it.

That is not a reason for inaction or disengagement. Fear of what the wingnuts and their corporate masters will say only advances their agenda.

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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Not just fear of what they say, but that it might actually hinder their progress -
that's what I was considering.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. See Reply 10 for why it was exactly the right idea according to the Wisconsin 14
Edited on Fri Mar-18-11 04:44 PM by ClarkUSA
Those who know better have overruled all those still complaining about Pres. Obama's smart strategy:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I think you are missing the point
Obama may have been right in not going to Wisconsin.

But he and the Democratic Party have not been active enough in pointing out and cvhellenging the GOP's plans to use the "budget" crisis to emasculate governments across the country, kill off unions and , by extension further erode the position of the middle and working class.

The democratic Wisconsin state senator that was quoted was being very gracioius, and he probably was glad Obama didn't go to the state.

But that doesn't negate the fact that there is a national war (and yes it is becoming a war) that is being fought nationally by one side, while national Democrats stay at arm's length and pretend this is just a little difference of opinion, and "we're sure we can come to a compromise" while the GOP raises their hatchets.
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