During its Aug. 4-5 meeting in Washington, D.C., the AFL-CIO Executive Council issued a statement supporting the One Nation coalition and its October 2 Washington D.C. march for jobs. The AFL-CIO said saying we must fight the fear mongering and scapegoating that is dividing our country.
All of us have been dismayed, to say the least, by the failure of the Obama Administration to make more progress on restoring the economy, particularly in regards to job creation, fighting foreclosures and preventing further job losses resulting from budget cuts by state and local governments. We are frustrated by and angry at the obstructionism of Congressional Republicans.
Now, a new coalition (ONE NATION WORKING, TOGETHER) has come together to fight back on the jobs and the other issues necessary to save our economy. They have called for a March for Jobs on October in Washington, D.C. 2nd just two months away. On the same day, the union movement will walk door-to-door in targeted states around the country, mobilizing union members exactly one month before the fall elections.
The administration’s failure represents both a lack of leadership and a political shift toward the position of the “deficit hawks”—those Republicans and Democrats who believe that government spending, even counter-cyclical deficit spending to counter the impact of the Great Recession, represents a greater threat to the economy than the renewed recession the cutbacks the deficit hawks advocate would cause. The influence of the deficit hawks is the main reason that the Senate has failed to pass any re-authorization of the extension of unemployment benefits and why the version the House passed did not include an extension of subsidized COBRA (health care) benefits.
The leadership for this coalition comes from 1199, the New York based hospital workers union, and the national NAACP. Other unions, including the AFL-CIO and SEIU are already involved. A growing list of community organizations is on board. DSA has endorsed the March for Jobs, as did the U.S. Social Forum, when it convened in Detroit in June. In our view this mobilization can motivate grass roots activism that fights back against Congress’s and the administration’s retreat on job creation.
It is vital that this march succeed. The risk of a double dip recession, bringing additional large-scale job losses, increases every day. Without additional public jobs programs and federal aid to prevent layoffs by state and local governments, we will face another major economic contraction.
The March for Jobs coalition web site, OneNationWorkingTogether.org, is up. In addition to calling for Jobs the march demands repair of our immigration system, and Wall Street reform! The coalition specifically demands the change that we voted for.
You can register to get updates on the One Nation Working Together website. If you want to know about what DSA chapters and members are doing to help build the march send an email to DSA national director Frank Llewellyn.