Latest Solidarity Issue

President Obama's remarks concerning right to work for less legislation in Michigan

12/10/12

President mentions RTW during visit to Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford

 (Remarks supplied by The White House)

THE PRESIDENT: And by the way, what we shouldn’t do -- I just got to say this -- what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. (Applause.) We shouldn’t be doing that. (Applause.) These so-called “right to work” laws, they don't have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. (Applause.) What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. (Applause.)   

You only have to look to Michigan -- where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry -- to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America.  (Applause.)  So folks from our state’s capital, all the way to the nation’s capital, they should be focused on the same thing.  They should be working to make sure companies like this manufacturer is able to make more great products.  That's what they should be focused on.  (Applause.)  We don't want a race to the bottom.  We want a race to the top.  (Applause.) 

America is not going to compete based on low-skill, low-wage, no workers’ rights.  That's not our competitive advantage. There’s always going to be some other country that can treat its workers even worse.  Right?  

AUDIENCE:  Right!

THE PRESIDENT: What’s going to make us succeed is we got the best workers -- well trained, reliable, productive, low turnover, healthy. That's what makes us strong. And it also is what allows our workers then to buy the products that we make because they got enough money in their pockets. (Applause.)