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Unions, Activists March To Support Obama Jobs Plan

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Union members, activists and members of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition rally at the Thompson Center to support President Barack Obama's jobs plan on Sept. 10, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

Union members, activists and members of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition rally at the Thompson Center to support President Barack Obama’s jobs plan on Sept. 10, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Several hundred people gathered in the Thompson Center plaza on Saturday to voice support for the jobs plan unveiled Thursday by President Obama.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, the union leaders and activists who spoke called the plan reasonable and affordable — and said the average American should not have to pay for it.

Amalgamated Transit Union Division 308 President Robert Kelly said Mr. Obama delivered “a bold speech,” and criticized U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) for boycotting the speech and returning to Chicago for a jobs creation forum in Schaumburg instead.

Kelly said Walsh’s snub offended him.

“They didn’t need to (attend), they said. The same congressman who owes $100,000 child support wouldn’t give the President of these United States the respect to sit there and listen to a plan, yet he doesn’t come up with a plan of his own,” Kelly said.

Walsh has contended that there are no details to the President’s jobs proposal.

Other speakers said that the wealthiest Americans and corporations should foot the bill for the plan, not the average American, and said Mr. Obama’s plan should be a starting point — not a goal

“It’s a moderate plan. It’s a reasonable plan,” said Susan Hurley of the Chicago Jobs for Justice Campaign.

Led by Kelly, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, those in the crowd chanted and marched in the Thompson Center plaza.

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