Skip to Content

President Obama shows support in Labor Day appearance

Van Roekel, educators, and labor leaders join president at Toledo event

Toledo, Ohio - September 03, 2012 -

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel joined Ohio educators as well as workers and leaders from public and private sector unions today at President Barack Obama’s Labor Day speech during a UAW celebration held at Scott High School in Toledo, Ohio.

The crowd attending today’s event at Scott High School represented a variety of Toledo residents, including members of the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and the United Auto Workers (UAW). The event evoked memories of last autumn, when an unprecedented coalition of private and public sector unions came together to help defeat Senate Bill 5, a measure that was unsafe, unfair and would have hurt all Buckeyes.

“After all that unions have done to build and protect the middle class, they [Republicans] say the best way to help workers is to roll back workers’ rights, to overturn laws that make sure construction workers get a fair wage, to blame teachers, firefighters and police officers and other public servants for our economic challenges,” said President Obama. “Toledo, what you need to know is this: when they’re trying to take your collective bargaining rights away it isn’t about economics. This is about politics.”

NEA President Van Roekel, who was also at the event, added, “Labor Day is a time to celebrate all our important victories—things like the 40-hour-work week, an end to child labor and the ability of Americans to earn vacation time. Organized labor—working families—built the middle class and, along the way, raised our standard of living and made democracy work for all. These folks are the ones who teach our children, build our bridges and roads, and protect our communities and our country,”

“Together with President Obama this Labor Day, we must reaffirm our commitment to giving working American families a strong voice. We will continue to support policies that will bring economic security, prosperity, and social justice to middle class families, to our members and their families, and the students we serve,” said Van Roekel.

To mark Labor Day, NEA has compiled a list of resources for educators and parents. NEA’s resources include historical timelines of the labor movement, lesson plans and research pieces examining the need for continued work on behalf of the American worker.
To learn more about NEA’s Labor Day resources.
Follow us on twitter at:
To get involved, visit:

# # #

The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzales - (202) 822-7823,


Check out our Labor Day resources and events.