Barack Obama's Letter to John Gage regarding the Department of Labor

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Letter to John Gage regarding the Department of Labor
by Barack Obama
20 October 2008.
John Gage

National President
American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
80 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Dear President Gage,

I am writing to present a few thoughts on my vision for the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency's proper and effective administration is critical to the safety and prosperity of working Americans.

I will appoint a Secretary of Labor who fully supports the mission of the Department and who will protect working Americans and their families. An Obama Department of Labor will fight to protect overtime rights for millions of Americans, enforce wage and hour laws, and ensure that OSHA enforces workplace safety laws. My Labor Secretary will support DoL civil servants as they work to enforce our labor laws.

As you know, one of the worst disasters of the Bush Administration has been the Department's failure to ensure mine safety. In my Department of Labor, the Administrator of Mine Safety and Health will be an advocate for miners' safety and health, not for the mining companies' bottom lines. Our mine safety program will have the staffing and the enforcement tools needed to get the job done.

Finally, I believe that it's time we stopped talking about family values and start pursuing policies that truly value families, such as paid family leave, flexible work schedules, and telework, with the federal government leading by example.

Thank you, John, for everything you and your members do for America.

Sincerely,

[signature]

Barack Obama