President Obama unveiled an executive order for more paid sick leave and workplace protections on Labor Day, while in Boston saying that federal contractors must start offering at least seven paid sick days to workers and urging Congress to pass similar requirements for all employers.
Obama devoted most of his address to slamming Republicans in Congress and those on the campaign trail for opposing his efforts, which include raising the minimum wage and requiring employers to provide paid maternity and sick leave.
He warned Republicans against shutting down the government at the end of the month by insisting on defunding Planned Parenthood – a continuing battle that began with the release of hidden videos showing PP selling aborted babies, many of which were born alive.
“A shutdown would be completely irresponsible, it would be an unforced error, a fumble on the goal line,” Obama told a crowd of about 750 supporters at the annual Greater Boston Labor Council breakfast sponsored by the AFL-CIO.
Washington Examiner reported:
The executive order is the president’s latest step in pushing for stricter labor laws, which he argues would bring the U.S. into step with other developed countries. Under the order, workers on federal contracts would be eligible for paid leave if they are sick or caring for a sick family member, earning one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked.
About one in four private-sector workers don’t have access to sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This summer, the Obama administration proposed allowing Americans earning up to $50,440 to earn overtime pay, raising the threshold from $23,660, a proposal the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fighting. Last year, the president tried and failed to convince Congress to raise the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.
Obama mocked Republicans — especially the presidential candidates — for trying to adopt a middle class message as election season ramps up.
“Republicans are trying to rebrand themselves as the party of middle class,” he said. “I’m glad they’re doing that. I’d love Republicans to rethink their position on issues, but you can’t talk middle class and then do things that hurt working people.”
And he drew a contrast not just between policies his administration has supported and GOP policies, but also highlighted differences between his philosophy of government and the more limited-government views held by Republicans.
Their views, Obama said, don’t reflect how the world really works. They want to “just wait, look at the sky and prosperity will rain down on us,” he said.
“That’s not how the economy works, that’s not how working people get ahead,” Obama said.
Obama added that he’s “so glad” he’s not on the ballot this time around.