Trumka, several unions, support the Wall Street protests

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 31:  AFL-CIO Secretary-Tre...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Declaring that “Wall Street’s out of control,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has embraced street protests such as the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations—and others like them that are planned for cities across the country. As reported by John Nichols in the Nation.

Asked about the ongoing mass protest in New York’s financial district, which has begun to gain support from major unions, Trumka said Friday morning: “I think it’s a tactic and a valid tactic to call attention to a problem. Wall Street is out of control. We have three imbalances in this country—the imbalance between imports and exports, the imbalance between employer power and working power, and the imbalance between the real economy and the financial economy. We need to bring back balance to the financial economy, and calling attention to it and peacefully protesting is a very legitimate way of doing it.” Continue reading

Fake Political Crisis and Real Economic Crisis-

(The Depression) The Single Men's Unemployed A...

Image via Wikipedia

Fake Political Crises and Real Economic Crises – A Call for
Leadership and for Action

AFL-CIO Executive Council Statement
The United States is in a continuing and severe jobs crisis.
Our economy is growing at less than 2 percent per year, and
growth is slowing. Official unemployment is 9.2 percent and
rising – driven now by mass layoffs of teachers, first
responders and other public employees. The real unemployment
rate is almost twice as high – once labor market dropouts
and involuntary part-time work are taken into account.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are real solutions to
the jobs crisis, but real solutions require government

Yet Washington is inexplicably focused on measures that will
make the situation worse – both in the short and long run.
Our nation’s leaders are offering working people the choice
between bad and worse policies. Instead of addressing our
profound economic crisis, they are adding to it an unending
series of fake political crises.

Real wages have been stagnant for three decades and are now
falling. The housing market, the largest market of any kind
in our country, continues its downward slide, driven by the
collapse of an enormous bubble. Millions of American
families have been or will be thrown out of their homes by
banks, guaranteeing that this drag on our economy will
continue for the foreseeable future. Our trade deficit keeps
growing. We invest less and less in our nation’s
infrastructure while unemployment in construction is nearly
double the national average. Veterans return home and
struggle to find work. Our education budgets at every level
are shrinking, and fewer and fewer of us have adequate
health insurance or a pension. Continue reading

Parents and teachers march for public schools

Save Our Schools

By Duane Campbell

An estimated 2000 – 3,000  parents, teachers, and public education supporters marched in Washington, D.C. and in  eleven  support rallies in other cities including Sacramento, California  on July 30. The events were organized by parent groups and other pro public education groups and supported by teachers unions.  The rally, although small by Washington standards was at least 20 times larger than the Tea Party rally held in Washington this week in support of the Tea Party’s proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to balance the budget.

There was limited media coverage of the Save Our Schools rallies.  The Save Our Schools March was organized by a wide variety of local groups and education advocates.  Speakers included Diane Ravitch, Jonathan Kozol, José Vilson, Deborah Meier, Monty Neill, Cornel West, and Pedro Noguera, among others.  Schools around the country are suffering from severe  budget cuts and teacher lay offs  imposed by the economic crisis and the  resultant decisions of legislatures to cut budgets. Continue reading

Save Our Schools March !

Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action

by Duane Campbell

Parents, teachers  and families from around the country say they are fed up with so-called school  “reform” policies that falsely label more than 80% of U.S. public schools as failures.  A  coalition of individuals and organizations is mobilizing for a national day of action in support of public schools. 
On Saturday, July 30, 2011, thousands of people will gather at the White House in Washington, DC and at locations around the nation for   “Save Our Schools” marches.   The  events are being organized by a network of teachers, parents and community activists. 
  You can contact the march efforts and locate your regional demonstration at,

“For too long, public school stakeholders have been treated like second class citizens in our own communities,” said Sabrina Stevens Shupe, a former Colorado teacher, who is a member of the March’s organizing committee. “Teachers’ knowledge has been dismissed because we are falsely presumed to be self-interested and incompetent.  Students and parents who vocally oppose the disruption and destruction of their schools are often entirely ignored.  At the same time, ideologues with little to no experience in public schools have made misguided decisions that devastate educational quality and equal opportunity.”

The Save Our Schools March is being held in response to recent destructive “reform” efforts which have undermined our public educational system, demoralized teachers, and reduced the education of too many of our children to nothing more than test preparation. Something must be done – and it must be done now!

The Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action is calling on Americans everywhere to demand: Continue reading

The Jobs Crisis will not be Cured with the Same Policies

Washington, DC – On the heels of two months of dismal job growth, a panel of workers, economists and national leaders detailed solutions on how to deal with the jobs crisis at a forum on Monday at the AFL-CIO.  Titled “The Jobs Crisis — Moving to Action: A Dialogue Between Workers and Policymakers,” the forum, moderated by Bob Herbert, drew a sharp contrast between the policies that got our country in this economic crisis and are currently being advocated to get it out, and what is needed in order to spark a real economic recovery.

“The most grievous of all of America’s wounds is its chronic, insidious unemployment,” stated Bob Herbert, Distinguished Fellow at Dēmos and moderator of today’s panel.   “America as we’ve come to know it – a vibrant, prosperous nation with a vast and growing middle class – cannot survive if the current, tragic levels of joblessness and underemployment become the norm.”

“I want to see decent, safe jobs for all Americans. I don’t want a handout. I just want a fighting chance,” said unemployed Working America member Shonda Sheen, from Yellow Springs, Ohio. Continue reading