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Tuesday's Report from the AFL-CIO Convention

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:48 AM
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Tuesday's Report from the AFL-CIO Convention


Headline Transcript for 09/16/09 Newscast

Affiliates/subscribers may feel free to use this copy in its entirety and make any changes necessary.

Please credit stories to Workers Independent News Service.

*Text is designed to be copied and pasted.


By Doug Cunningham

: Woman in audience : We love you! Obama: I love you, too, sister! Although it sounds like you been hollerin too much, youre throat is all (laughter).

President Obama electrified thousands of people in the House of Labor here at the AFL-CIO Pittsburgh convention Tuesday. Obama reiterated his support for a public healthcare reform option.

: Let me be clear because theres been a lot of misinformation out here about this. This would just be an option. Nobody would be forced to choose it. No ones insurance would be affected. But what it would do is offer Americans more choices and promote real competition and put pressure on private insurers to make their policies affordable, treat their customers better.

Obama told senior citizens his health care reform will NOT cut their Medicare.

: So dont pay attention to those scary stories about how Medicare benefits will be cut. That will never happen on my watch. We will protect Medicare so its a safety net for our seniors that they can count on today, tomorrow, forever not a dollar from the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan, not a single dollar.

And he remains committed to the Employee Free Choice Act,
: Thats why I stand behind the Employee Free Choice Act. Because when a majority of workers want a union they should get a union.

In the press room after the speech Rich Trumka soon to be President of the AFL-CIO - had this to say about the Obama speech and about Obamas stance on labors top two issues healthcare reform and the Employee Free Choice Act.

: Great speech, great energy. The president just said hes going to fight for the public option. We are going to fight with him to make sure that the public option gets done. It was a great speech - I mean, it was energetic. First of all, he really gets it. Hes one of the first presidents that Ive really heard talk and speak from a workers point of view and actually understand what workers think, feel and realize every day. It was great. He talked about our history, he talks about where we came from and he talked about where we wanna go. He said that were part of the solution, not the problem that if you want to build the middle class
you have to have a strong labor movement. So were excited about that.

The AFL-CIO convention Tuesday also endorsed Congressman John Conyers Medicare for all single payer health care reform bill, HR 676. Gerry Shea is Assistant to the AFL-CIO President for Governmental Affairs.

: Specifically for 676, which is currently the lead bill. And the endorsement says that we will work vigorously for comprehensive reform. It does not say that we will work only for 676.

AFL-CIO Policy Director Thea Lee says the federation continues to believe a second economic stimulus aimed at jobs creation is needed, despite the comment from Fed Chair Ben Bernanke that the recession is probably over.

: We just think more is needed, that its pretty clear that the labor market is very, very weak and will remain weak for a long time. And we see really the government as the only likely source for additional demand in the short run.

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