The President spoke at the annual Labor Day Breakfast, a prominent gathering of union organizers and labor leaders in Boston, Massachusetts.
Here’s an excerpt from the speech:
You’ve got to say more than America is great and that’s it. You’ve got to work for it. It’s not just to say America is exceptional. You’ve got to prove it. You’ve got to work to keep it that way. And that’s what generations of the labor movement have done.
It was hardworking Americans who marched and organized to help working families get ahead. It was hardworking folks who demanded not simply a bigger paycheck for themselves, but more security for the folks working next to them, too.
They were the ones who were out in the cold on picket lines. They were the folks who were dealing with the Pinkertons. They were the folks who sometimes got beat or got fired for organizing; got threatened and stood up for an idea that everybody deserves a fair shake.
And those folks — your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents — they’re the ones who gave us the forty-hour workweek.
They’re the ones who gave us overtime and the minimum wage, and all kinds of things that folks now take for granted. It was those fights that gave us health insurance and Social Security, and Medicare, and retirement plans. All those gains are union-made. They’re stamped with the union label. They’re what we celebrate today.
The President touted the United States as “the number one place to invest”, noting that America’s laborers are the nation’s real profit creators.