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BOSTON—President Barack Obama flew into Boston on a sunny Labor Day to rally unions and announce a new executive order that will require federal contractors to give employees paid sick leave.
In his speech at Greater Boston Labor Council breakfast, he announced the order, which allows federal workers one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours they work, amounting to a maximum seven days per year. The new law will give paid sick days to 300,000 workers, he said.
The President also took jabs at Republicans in front of his 765 supporters gathered at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, suggesting differences between their approaches to helping the middle class.
“You just wait, you look up at the sky and prosperity will come raining down on us from the top of whatever high-rise in New York City,” he said. “But that’s not how the economy works.”
During his remarks, the president spoke extensively about the importance of unions, even making a quip about New England Patriots football quarterback Tom Brady, who was recently acquitted on a four-game suspension.
“Even Brady is happy he’s got a union. They had his back,” Obama said. “So you know if Brady needs a union, we definitely need unions. Because the fact of the matter is, even kids understand this: You’re stronger when you stand together.”
Earlier in the morning, the president arrived at Boston’s Logan Airport on a small Air Force One jet. Preceded by military personnel, he jogged down the portable aircraft steps in a casual blue collared shirt and khaki slacks, waving to a crowd of admirers and reporters. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charles D. Baker '79 greeted the president and chatted with him for a few minutes. Several Harvard students helped check in members of the press and other visitors, who were personally greeted by the president on the tarmac.
—Staff writer Mariel A. Klein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mariel_klein.
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