And that word is JOBS.
President Obama will hold a town hall meeting in Racine at 1:15PM this afternoon, and turnout from the labor movement is expected to be particularly strong.
Members of USW Local 1343 will be on hand to urge Obama to overturn a recent decision by the federally funded U.S. Export-Import Bank, denying loan guarantees that would have enabled Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International to export over $600 million dollars in equipment to India. As a result, as many as 1,000 Wisconsin jobs could be lost.
Click here to read recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel coverage about Bucyrus.
This town hall meeting is also a tremendous opportunity to question the president about other recent federal decisions that hurt Wisconsin working families. This is what Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President David Newby had to say on the subject:
President Obama’s visit to our state couldn’t have come at a better time.
First, we need the President to intervene to break the logjam created by Republican Senators in Congress that is preventing the extension of Unemployment benefits to hundreds of thousands of laid-off workers and providing additional funds to the states to pay for desperately needed Medicaid benefits. (Without this supplemental assistance, most states will have to cut eligibility for health care and the additional budget burden will also lead to the lay-offs of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters due to reduced state aid to local government.)
Second, we need to have a serious discussion about job creation in order to make sure that federal trade policies do not worsen our continuing economic slump.
On Wednesday working people in Racine will have the chance to tell the president that we cannot afford new trade agreements which will send more U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. Our economy is fragile and workers, particularly in Southeast Wisconsin, are already suffering.
The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is strongly opposed to President Obama’s plan to revive the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement (KORUS FTA) as negotiated by the Bush Administration. This would exacerbate our already lopsided trade relationship with South Korea, jeopardizing thousands of family supporting American manufacturing jobs, most notably in auto and steel production.
Our negotiators should go back to the table to address these imbalanced market-access provisions. We also need to revisit the flawed investment, procurement, and services provisions as well, which limit the ability of our government at all levels to favor American-made goods and services and which grant foreign corporations legal rights which are denied to American corporations.
In the coming days, the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO blog will post additional photos and updates from the town hall meeting in Racine.
(Photo: USW Local 1343 prepares to rally outside of President Obama’s town hall meeting today. Photo Credit: Justin Geiger.)