“It’s working folks like you who fought for jobs and opportunity for generations of American workers. It’s working people like you who helped to lay the cornerstones of middle class security, things that people now sometimes take for granted, but weren’t always there—the 40-hour work week, weekends, paid leave, pensions, the minimum wage, health care, Social Security, Medicare. Those things happened because working people organized and mobilized.
“It is unions like yours that helped to forge the basic bargain of this country—the bargain that built the greatest middle class and the most prosperous country and the most prosperous economy that the world has ever known.”
—President Obama in Toledo, Ohio
Thousands of union workers packed into the gymnasium at Scott High School in Toledo, Ohio, to hear President Obama talk about the importance of unions, among other things, on this Labor Day. Here’s what some audience members had to say about why they stand with the President:
“I retired in 2008, but I had a lot of friends who were in the auto industry in 2009, and everyone was nervous and scared. Most of my friends kept their jobs, and I support the President because I don’t have a choice. He saved the automobile business. He also supports unions, which Mitt Romney sure as heck doesn’t. My grandchildren are also on their father’s health insurance thanks to Obamacare, and they’d be in a rough spot without it.”
—Louey, a United Auto Workers retiree from Chrysler’s Perrysburg machining plant
“I just retired from Libby Glass, a glass factory in Toledo, and I’m part of the steelworkers union. Without unions, this country wouldn’t make it. We need fairness for everyone, and I wasn’t happy when Romney came out in favor for SB5. He’s also shipped jobs overseas—and I think he’s just plain wrong for America. President Obama is for the working class, and if he didn’t save the auto industry, Toledo would be a ghost town. Toledo is the glass capital, and it would have impacted everyone, including us. It’s important to vote so we can finish what we started. That’s why I’m a volunteer, knocking on doors and making phone calls. It meant a lot to me to have President Obama come to my high school—I never would have imagined it, but it’s really amazing.”
—Brenda, Scott High School class of 1967
“President Obama is a good man, and he’s for working America. He understands the middle class. We need him back in office—Romney would take America backwards. It’s important that we have unions in America that protect workers’ rights, and Gov. Kasich and Mitt Romney are both opposed to that.”
—Lilly, a union worker and custodian at Scott High School
“I enjoyed science and loved helping people. Growing up my dad was a union electrician and I love sharing knowledge. The union’s been a big aspect in my life, and I’ve seen what a good union can do. Education is the future of this country and it’s a big deal. I don’t think that education is a high priority for Mitt Romney. Romney’s plan isn’t a plan for educators. My dad has a shirt that says ‘skilled labor isn’t cheap, and cheap labor isn’t skilled.’ In order to get something out of America, we have to work for it. And that’s why unions are good—they work for people. I’m proud to be an educator and I’m proud of what President Obama has done for America.”
—Patrick, a high school physics and environmental science teacher
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