Accessibility links

Obama Announces Task Force on Middle Class

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a task force to focus on the middle class in the United States, and signed executive orders reversing some Bush administration labor policies.

At the White House Friday, Mr. Obama announced that Vice President Joe Biden will lead the task force.

Poor Americans will not be forgotten

The president said poor Americans would not be forgotten, and that his administration wants to make sure they benefit from American prosperity as well, as long as they are willing to work for it.

Biden said the establishment of the task force sends a clear signal to hard-working Americans that the government is on their side again. He said for too many years the White House failed to put the middle class in the forefront of policy.

Mr. Obama signed three executive orders that he said are aimed at creating a level playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests. He said he does not view the labor unions as part of the problem, but rather part of the solution.

Under the new directives, federal contractors are required to offer jobs to current employees when contracts change, and prevented from being reimbursed for expenses that were intended to influence worker decisions on forming unions or engaging in collective bargaining.

Some information for this report was provided by AP