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Obama Reverses Bush Labor Policies and Establishes Middle Class Task Force

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February 3, 2009

On January 30, 2009, as reported by The New York Times and the Washington Post, President Obama signed three executive orders targeted to "level the playing field" for employees and labor unions in their relationships with management. The first order requires federal contractors to offer jobs to current employees when contracts change. The second order reverses a Bush administration rule that required federal contractors to post notices informing workers that they could limit the financial support of unions acting as their exclusive bargaining representatives. The third order prevents federal contractors from being reimbursed for expenses incurred to influence unorganized workers who are deciding whether to seek union representation. The orders are a clear revocation of President Bush’s labor policies and are intended to strengthen organized labor.

At the same time, Obama also formally announced the creation of a new White House task force, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, which will be focused on middle-class Americans and the problems they currently face.

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