Three women wear T-shirts with pictures of President Obama stating "He saved our jobs" as they walk outside the Time Warner Arena, where this year's Democratic National Convention takes place, in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention have begun around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate Obama for a second term. (Mladen Antonov / AFP)
The Democratic Party reaffirms its support for collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers in its 2012 platform, which it released Monday night.
“Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental value,” the platform said. “Unions helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. We will fight for collective bargaining rights for police officers, nurses, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, teachers and other public-sector workers — jobs that are a proven path to the middle class for millions of Americans.”
The platform also calls for Congress to grant President Obama the power to reorganize and consolidate government agencies, an authority past presidents have had. And it touts Obama’s efforts to get agencies to review and streamline outdated regulations.
“For too long, overlapping responsibilities among agencies have made it harder, rather than easier, for our small businesses to interact with their government,” the platform said.
The platform lauds Democrats’ efforts to enact the STOCK Act, which requires Senior Executive Service members, general military officers and other top government officials to report stock purchases and other securities transactions worth more than $1,000. And it says Democrats are committed to open government programs such as Data.gov.
The Republican Party last week approved its own platform, which calls for cutting the federal workforce by at least 10 percent, overhauling federal pay and benefits, and privatizing airport screening and possibly some U.S. Postal Service operations. The Democratic platform does not address those issues.