Statement by IWJ's Kim Bobo On State of the Union Address

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For Immediate Release, January 25, 2012

Kelly Fryer, National Communications Director

The number one problem in America is jobs. In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed jobs-creating policies that will strengthen America’s manufacturing base, invest in energy and rebuild our infrastructure. We urge Congress to act on them without delay.

Unfortunately, these proposals are not enough to help unemployed workers and workers in poverty-wage jobs.

We need a national jobs policy that creates enough jobs for all those who are able to work, raises core standards around living wages and family-supporting benefits, stops and deters wage theft, and ensures that public and private sector workers have the right to collective bargaining.

We also have a responsibility to support workers who can’t find jobs in this economy. Congress must stop playing politics with people’s lives and renew unemployment insurance for 2012 – no cuts, no barriers to benefits.
The Republican responder, Gov. Mitch Daniels, is leading the fight to make Indiana the first “right to work” state in the Midwest, a policy that will lower jobs standards for working families by undermining collective bargaining. But in Monday’s Indiana Senate vote, nine courageous Republicans broke party ranks and voted against the “right to work” bill.

Supporting America’s working families is not – and should not be – a partisan issue.
All Americans – Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, people of all faiths and people of no faith – can and must join together for our neighbors. We must work together to put love of neighbor, a core value that we all share, into the public arena.
Interfaith Worker Justice has been organizing, educating and advocating at the intersection of faith and work since 1996.