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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the President Before Signing Memorandum of Disapproval Regarding S.J. Res.8

Oval Office

12:08 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Well, I am about to sign a memorandum of disapproval.  A while back, the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB, put forward some common-sense, modest changes to streamline the voting process for folks who wanted to join a union.  And unfortunately, the Republican Senate and House decided to put forward a proposal to reverse those changes.  I think that’s a bad idea. 

Unions historically have been at the forefront of establishing things like the 40-hour work week, the weekend, elimination of child labor laws, establishing fair benefits and decent wages.  And one of the freedoms of folks here in the United States is, is that if they choose to join a union, they should be able to do so.  And we shouldn’t be making it impossible for that to happen. 

So not only am I going to be signing this memorandum of disapproval; I also want to announce that in the fall we’re going to host a summit on increasing the voice and the rights of workers here in the United States.  We’ve had a terrific economic recovery.  We’re got more work to do.  We’re finally seeing wages being to tick up after many consecutive years of job growth.  Nevertheless, what’s true is, is that we’ve got record corporate profits.  Folks at the very top are doing very well.  Middle-class families and folks trying to work their way into the middle class still have some big difficulties.

And part of what we want to do is to make sure that we give workers the capacity to have their voices heard, to have some influence in the workplace, to make sure that they’re partners in building up the U.S. economy, and that growth is broad-based, and that everybody is benefitting just as everybody is contributing.  So that’s something that I’m very much looking forward to.  We’ll have a wide range of voices from the business community, from small businesses, from the workers in a wide range of fields -- academics, organizers.  Because I think that everybody here in America wants to make sure that even as the economy is growing, everybody is playing a part in that growth and everybody is sharing and contributing to that success.

So with that, let me sign this memorandum of disapproval.  Thank you very much, everybody.

12:11 P.M. EDT