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Obama Has Sharp Words for Staples CEO, Businesses Blaming Obamacare for Slashes in Employee Hours

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"But when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance..."

President Barack Obama offered stinging words to the CEO of Staples and other corporations that have placed blame on his signature health care law as the reason they must cut employee hours.

Reacting to Staples telling workers they are not allowed to work more than 25 hours a week, Obama contended there is "no reason for an employer who is not currently providing health care to their workers to discourage them from either getting health insurance on the job or being able to avail themselves of the Affordable Care Act."

"I haven’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security and if they can’t, then they should be willing to allow those workers to get the Affordable Care Act without cutting wages," the president continued.

"It’s one thing when you’ve got a mom-and-pop store who can’t afford to provide paid sick leave or health insurance or minimum wage to workers — even though a large percentage of those small businesses do it because they know it’s the right thing to do," Obama added. "But when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages, shame on them."

Hundreds of employers have cut their employees' hours to avoid taxes associated with Obamacare, including Regal Entertainment Group, Five Guys Burgers and multiple counties and universities.

UPDATE: Staples spokesman Jack Cautela responded to Obama's criticism in a statement provided to TheBlaze.

"Unfortunately, the president appears not to have all the facts," Cautela said, saying that Staples' part-time policies predate the Affordable Care Act by several years.

Cautela added:

We are very proud of our associates and offer competitive wages and benefits. Staples is a leader in helping associates build a secure future. In fact, we were recently recognized by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew for our leadership in helping associates plan for a secure retirement. Staples also offers many opportunities for hourly associates to advance into full-time and management positions. It’s unfortunate that the president is attacking a company that provides more than 85,000 jobs and is a major tax payer.

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