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John Kerry's Labor Day Statement

Location: Unknown

September  01,  2003

Labor Day is a reminder of that America's greatest economic asset has been - and always will be - the hard work, dedication, and creativity of the American people.

Unfortunately, on Labor Day 2003, the American people are enjoying backyard barbeques and a day off, but they don't have much to celebrate when it comes to the economy.

Labor Day is a great time for picnics, but the economy is no picnic with George Bush in the White House.

Under the Bush Administration, "jobs" is a four-letter word.  We have lost more jobs than at any time since the Great Depression.  And it's no surprise that "the job-loss President" is giving us a job-less recovery.  It's pretty simple, if Americans aren't working - America's not working.

This has been the most anti-labor Administration anyone can remember. 

This President has cut back efforts to make our workplaces healthier and safer.  He's rolled back worker protections.  His elimination of overtime rules would force Americans to work longer hours for less money. 

This is supposed to be a weekend when Americans can be laid-back - instead too many of them are being laid-off.  It's clear that on this Labor Day, the one person in America who deserves to be laid-off is George W. Bush.

But to win in 2004 Democrats need more than a catalogue of complaints - we need an agenda of action.  As President, I will restore the 3 million jobs lost under George Bush in my first 500 days.  I will help bring back the strength of our manufacturing sector.  I'll increase the minimum wage and make our workplaces safer and healthier.  I'll reject George Bush's new overtime rules that force employees to work longer for less.  And I will support, defend, and extend the fundamental right to join a union.  Employees should be able to sign a card - and when a majority do, employers should be required to get on with the business of negotiating a fair deal. 

And as we approach the second anniversary of September 11th, I'll remind all Americans that the brave firemen, police officers, and first defenders who rushed up the stairs of the World Trade Center were members of organized labor.  They never stopped believing in the right to organize - and neither will we.

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