Statement by Governor Dean on Labor Day

Des Moines, Iowa, Monday September 1, 2003

The Fight for Working Families

September 1, 2003


Abraham Lincoln said, 'Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.' Today, we acknowledge the debt we owe to the hardworking men and women whose labor built this country.

Tomorrow, nearly 9 million Americans will have no job to return to after their three-day weekend. We need a president who is creating jobs, instead of losing more jobs than any president has since the Great Depression. This has been one of the most anti-labor administrations in America's history; President Bush has rolled back ergonomics standards, tried to eliminate the right to overtime pay, and enacted an economic plan that has forced states and local governments to raise taxes, hurting working families across America.

I know what it means to fight for our working families. As Governor of Vermont, I raised the state's minimum wage twice. I stood with nurses and other employees trying to unionize. And I made sure that virtually every child in the state and over 92% of adults had health care. As president, I'll work to undo the policies of the Bush Administration that attack America's working families. I will fight for a tough ergonomics standard and reverse the soon-to-be-finalized regulations eroding the right to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. I will amend federal law to expand the number of workers who can unionize.

My campaign, like the labor movement, has been built on the premise that if enough people join together to let their voice be heard, they can change their lives and their country for the better. This Labor Day, I stand with nearly 350,000 Americans who have signed up at, and we are committed to taking our country back for working families and for all of America.
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