Barack Obama

In this Sept. 6, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama greets supporters before speaking on the economy at the Milwaukee Laborfest in Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee. The last time President Barack Obama came to Wisconsin to celebrate workers’ rights on Labor Day, there was barely a hint of the turmoil that was to come just months later as public employees fought unsuccessfully to retain their ability to collectively bargain. Now, four years later, as the architect of the law that stripped unions of that power faces re-election, Obama is coming back to Milwaukee for an event also featuring Gov. Scott Walker’s Democratic challenger Mary Burke. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Americans this Labor Day to think about the rights and benefits that people often take for granted.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says he’s optimistic about the growing economy. He says decisions made now will determine whether the recovery will pick up speed.

Obama says workers and unions fought for things like Social Security, Medicare, workplace safety laws and the right to organize. He says those fights built a stronger middle class.

Obama says to strengthen the modern middle class, the U.S. must raise its minimum wage. He says states and businesses have raised wages already and Congress should, too.

In the Republican address, Rep. Larry Bucshon of Indiana says Republicans are focused on creating jobs, lowering costs and restoring opportunity.



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