The President has been wanting to have the conversation we're hosting today for a long time. He's been mentioning it in meetings -- and in remarks -- for months.
Today, it's happening.
Right now, a group of workers, union leaders, worker advocates, and forward-thinking businesses are arriving in the East Wing of the White House. They'll have breakfast together, hear from the President and Vice President, and then hear from one another. They'll break out into groups. They'll ask each other questions and share their own personal stories. Then they'll engage in a conversation with the President. We'll be focused one singular mission:
How do we empower workers' voices in our 21st Century economy?
We're calling it the White House Summit on Worker Voice, and you can follow along and add your voice to the conversation, no matter where you are. You can participate from your desk or your kitchen counter.
You can watch events from throughout the day -- from the President's remarks, to the breakout sessions, to the conversation he'll be hosting later in the afternoon -- live and make a commitment to start a conversation in your workplace here.
It's clear why having a real voice in the workplace is beneficial to workers themselves -- but most people don't realize that the most successful companies are the ones that are doing this right. It's in the numbers -- firms with unionized workers have higher retention and higher productivity.
Multiple studies have confirmed this -- and even more evidence shows that unionized firms with workplace practices that give workers input into the production process have the highest productivity, above that of both nonunionized firms and unionized firms without these kinds of workplace practices.
The bottom line? There's really not much to claims about unions' negative impact on businesses.
Everyone who's contributing to this country's economic growth ought to be able to share in it. That means having an effective voice, and some influence, in their workplaces. And making sure that happens in more businesses across this country requires an inclusive, honest dialogue like the one we're having today. It only works if as many folks as possible add their voices.
The President doesn't always get personally involved in the shaping of events we hold at the White House -- but I can tell you that this one is different.
Valerie Jarrett Senior Advisor The White House @VJ44