Union leaders want Obama focused on jobs

Sept. 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The head of the AFL-CIO says he hopes President Obama ramps up his focus on the U.S. employment picture when he speaks in Milwaukee on Labor Day.

The president will keynote Milwaukee's annual Laborfest Monday at a time when, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, many Americans aren't convinced he is addressing unemployment.

""I think he has been (focused). I think he has not effectively communicated it," Trumka told reporters in Washington.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Wisconsin was solidly behind Obama in the 2008 presidential election but pollsters say that support has melted away recently in line with national trends.

Trumka said Obama has made the mistake of trying to satisfy both sides of the debate over economic-stimulus spending and the budget deficit. He said the deficit has been a long-term issue while digging out of the recession is an immediate priority.

"Whenever he started in the same sentence talking about job creation and deficit reduction, he confused people with that and gave credence to the notion the (short-term) deficit had to be addressed," Trumka said.

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