Press Release

What Workers Want to Hear from President Obama’s State of the Union Address

(Washington, DC January 16) – Leading up to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, the AFL-CIO is releasing a unique, creative preview highlighting the issues America’s workers will be listening for. Through video and audio platforms, the AFL-CIO and workers in their own voices have clear messages for the President and are engaging the broader public.

In this new video, workers talk about the issues they most want to hear the President address. In their own unscripted voices, these workers highlight issues including trade, immigration, collective bargaining, social security and more.

“I would like to be assured that Fast-Track will not be the means by which any trade agreement is reached,” says Marcos Velez, a member of USW 13-227. “Everyone has the right to collective bargaining,” AFSCME 1427 member Lisa James-Henson tells the President. “Wages, Mr. President, that is a big subject in my home,” she continues.


AFL-CIO President Trumka delivers a clear message on what working people will be listening for. While highlighting many of the President’s success this past year, Trumka also underscores the challenges working people still face and the work needed to be done.

“President Obama has accomplished a lot this past year,” Trumka says. “But that’s not enough… After all, while President Obama is hard at work preparing his biggest speech of the year, most families are hard at work stretching their budgets to make ends meet…Working people want to hear not only what he thinks about raising wages, but what he’ll do about it. That is the ultimate standard of accountability.”

Contact: Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018