President Obama celebrated Labor Day with thousands of working men and women in Toledo, Ohio, where union pride and support for workers’ rights were reinvigorated during last year’s historic citizens’ veto of legislation that threatened collective bargaining rights in the state.
‘This day belongs to the working men and women of America,” Obama said before a crowd of 3,000 union members and supporters from the Ohio Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME and the United Auto Workers, which hosted the event at Scott High School. “It’s working people like you who helped lay the cornerstones of middle class security, things that people sometimes take for granted but weren’t always there.”
“It is unions like yours that helped to forge the basic bargain of this country,” the President continued, “a bargain that says if you work hard, if you’re responsible, you should be rewarded. If you put in enough effort, you should be able to find a job that pays the bills, you should be able to afford a home to call your own, to have health care you can count on if you get sick… and most importantly, you can provide your children with an education to make sure that they do even better than you.”
“It’s clear that President Obama respects what teachers do and that educators and educator unions are one and the same,” said Dan Greenberg, a high school English teacher and vice president of his Sylvania County local. “Unions are how we work together to advocate for good policies for better public schools for our all of our children.”
“Together with President Obama this Labor Day, we must reaffirm our commitment to giving working American families a strong voice,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “We will continue to support policies that will bring economic security, prosperity, and social justice to middle class families, to our members and their families, and the students we serve.”