PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FIRST 30 DAYS
His nominee of Representative Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary is the first step in helping the working people. As Teamsters General President Hoffa said “Hilda Solis has deep roots in the union movement. Her dad was a Teamster shop steward, her mom a member of the United Rubber Workers. She’s the only member of Congress to serve on the board of American Rights at work. She is smart, gusty and passionately committed to the right to form unions and bargain collectively. She has given unwavering support to the port drivers who are deprived of basic workplace protections because they’re misclassified as independent contractors. She made sure the Labor Department continued to ban privatization of its workforce. She has been a leader in fighting against bad free trade policies. She funded a successful campaign to raise the minimum wage in California. We are counting on her to put a full court press behind the Employee Free Choice Act, which will strengthen unions and the middle class.”
President Obama’s signed his first act which was the Lilly Ledbetter Act. As Teamsters General President Hoffa said “The Lilly Ledbetter Act is an important step toward restoring fairness in the workplace and strengthening the middle class. It takes civil rights law back to the way it was interpreted for many years.” Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor in a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant, discovered after 19 years that she was paid significantly less than all of her male counterparts. A jury agreed she was unfairly underpaid and awarded her $223,776.00 in back pay and more than $3 million in punitive damages. The Supreme Court then took away every penny of her back pay and damages. Before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2007, employees could sue within 180 days of their last paycheck showing lower wages. In Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the Supreme Court ruled that employees had to sue within 180 days of their first discriminatory paycheck.
President Obama established a new White House Task Force on Working Families. The new White House Task Force on Working Families, www.astrongmiddleclass.gov,
will focus on stabilizing the economy and making it work for American workers again. Vice President Biden will lead the task force, which also will include the secretaries of labor, education, commerce and health, and President Obama’s economic team.
President Obama signed three executive orders that restore the balance in power that favored employers over workers under the Bush administration. The orders are:
- Require federal contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contract change;
- Reverse a Bush order requiring federal contractors to post notice that workers can limit financial support of unions serving as their exclusive bargaining representative;
- Prevent federal contractors from being reimbursed for expenses intended to influence workers in their decision whether to form a union engaged in collective bargaining.
President Obama signed another executive order allowing the federal government to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale construction projects. Such agreements are efficient, save money and promote safety and labor standards. Teamsters General President Hoffa said, “This is yet another reason for working families to be grateful that we have a champion in the White House. Project labor agreements are a win-win for everyone involved. Contractors get highly trained, skilled labor with fixed costs, and workers are fairly compensated with their rights and safety protected”. This order overturns an order signed by President Bush in 2001 that banned the federal government from requiring PLAs.
President Obama signed a 787 billion dollar stimulus bill. The purpose of this bill is as follows:
1) To preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery.
2) To assist those most impacted by this recession.
3) To provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health.
4) To invest in transportation protection and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.
5) To stabilize State and Local Government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive State and Local tax increases.
Here is a break down of the money for this bill:
- Tax Relief – 288 billion;
- State & Local Fiscal Relief – 144 billion;
- Infrastructure and Science – 111 billion;
- Protecting the Vulnerable – 81 billion;
- Health Care – 59 billion;
- Education and Training – 53 billion;
- Energy – 43 billion; and
- Other – 8 billion.
To learn more about this bill you can go to the web site of recovery.gov
In looking at the things that President Obama has done in his first 30 days as our president, you can see that everything that he has done has been beneficial for the working people. He is giving us hope and when someone asks you, do you think, that with the leadership that we now have in the White House, that you can have the American dream? Your answer now is YES I CAN!