The retiring Iowa Democrat told liberal talk show host Bill Press that he liked most of President Obama’s state of the union address — especially the part about raising the minimum wage — but slammed the president over his seeming ingratitude to Big Labor:
According to the Hill, Harkin told Press:
“And not one word in there about, if you want to rebuild the middle class, you’ve got to make it easier and better for people to organize and bargain collectively for their wages and for their conditions of their employment,” Harkin continued. “Not one word about that. And to me, that is the crux of their problem — is that people don’t have any power. They don’t have any power when they’re out there on the job. And you’ve got to have a balance. You’ve got to give workers more of a power to be able to bargain for things like their wages, for pensions, for family and medical leave, and paid sick leave and things like that.
“People just are powerless, and so I was just kind of upset and really saddened that he didn’t even give a nod to labor unions.”
“And you know what?” Harkin added. “He wouldn’t be there without labor unions, and neither would half of our Democrats in the Senate, I’ll tell you that.”