Friday, September 26, 2008
Main Street Recovery Program
Worker Organization Says No to Bailout for Banks Without Comprehensive Economic Growth Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Change To Win, a nationwide worker organization of over 6 million members, outlined today a comprehensive economic recovery program for Main Street America that would generate broad-based prosperity, restore faith and fairness in the market system, and renew the American Dream for working and middle class families. The worker organization called on Congress to reject a Wall Street bailout based on the flawed economic policies of the past.
"We need a new economic model that rewards work, recognizes productivity and innovation, and provides a fair set of rules for the marketplace and the workplace," said Anna Burger, Change to Win chair. "A bailout for Wall Street that ignores Main Street is part of the problem, not the solution."
"Wall Street has been allowed to run wild for eight years and they've acted like pigs at a trough. They should be thinking about bail, not a bailout," said Terence M. O'Sullivan, General President of LIUNA. "The most important asset in America is not Wall Street -- it is Main Street and working people. This is a crisis, but it is also an opportunity for our nation to resolve to build America, so America works again. A bail-out must not become another no-strings raid on the taxpayers by the Bush Administration."
The organization of some of the nation's largest and most politically potent unions proposed an eight point plan to address the underlying economic problems that have brought the nation to the brink of the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression almost eighty years ago. The plan focuses on Main Street concerns from energy costs to health care costs, and addresses long term economic problems that have left working and middle class families struggling just to make ends meet.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Statement of Priorities to Revive the American Economy
We are at the end of an era. For a generation, the philosophies of trickle down economics, deregulation, regressive taxation, and unrestrained greed have dominated Washington policymaking. Now, these policies have created the worst crisis in our economy and financial markets since the Great Depression.
The urgent challenge confronting America today is to initiate a new era that stabilizes our markets and revives our weakening economy to benefit the needs and dreams of all Americans. We believe that we must and can do both, now.
Yet the debate in Washington over the bailout has focused too narrowly on how to craft legislation that, on balance, will disproportionately benefit the Wall Street banks and private equity buyout firms who have created this financial crisis.
Let us be clear. Change to Win and its six million members stand with allies across America in wanting the Congress to arrive at a timely, progressive, constructive solution that stabilizes our markets and achieves fundamental reforms that protect us from these kinds of crisis moving forward.
But as working Americans we will not stand by and be expected to pay for this bailout without addressing our daily challenges in finding better jobs, higher wages, good schools, and health care for all families. We will not stand for socialized debt and privatized profits. We want to see real reform of Wall Street, and we want to see a new spirit of investment in Main Street, if we are going to support any proposed bail out with our tax dollars.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Change to Win Demands Action On Main Street Concerns in Wall Street Bailout
Grassroots Reject Bailout According To Union Leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One of the largest organizations of working Americans, Change to Win, called for rejection of Bush's $700 billion welfare for Wall Street plan today, and demanded immediate Congressional action to create a financial rescue plan that addresses the concerns and needs of Main Street.
"Grassroots Americans are rising up and they are mad as hell. Members of Congress need to listen to the voices of the people of Main Street -- they think this bailout of Wall Street stinks," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "Our proposal is in line with what the majority of Americans want right now -- to restore financial stability, provide relief to homeowners, pass economic stimulus legislation to create more jobs and protect the pension plans of average Americans."
The Change to Win immediate action program calls for:
- Revision of bankruptcy laws to allow judges to restructure mortgages and interest rates to keep working families in their homes
- Pension Fund eligibility for participation in any financial rescue plan
- Economic stimulus legislation including extended unemployment benefits, funding of infrastructure projects and assistance for state and local governments to prevent devastating cuts in essential public services.
"The congressional Republican leadership as well as John McCain have walked away from their responsibility to working families. They have no plan. They have no ideas. We are calling on the Democratic leadership in Congress to act now to revive the economy -- and, finally renew working Americans' faith in their government," said Bruce Raynor, General President of UNITE HERE.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
No Bailout Without Adequate Protections For Working Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The following is a statement of principle from the Change to Win Leadership Council on the Treasury Department's bailout plan.
"For most working families, the economy has been in a meltdown for quite some time: they have seen their jobs outsourced, their wages decline, their benefits disappear, their homes foreclosed and the American Dream becoming more remote.
"Now, the Bush Administration wants us to pick up the tab to bail out Wall Street, with no strings attached. Congress should not give the Administration a blank check. It needs to structure a bailout plan that will actually work to stabilize the financial sector without leaving taxpayers holding the bag. And it needs to provide relief to the real victims of this crisis -- the working families whose homes are now at risk of foreclosure.
"Accordingly, Change to Win believes that the following principles must govern any bailout plan, and that Senator Dodd's proposal provides a good starting point."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Seven Houses for Just One Family?
Workers Ask John McCain to Open His Homes to Foreclosure Victims
As Economic and Housing Crises Worsen, Workers Unite to Hold John McCain Accountable
Protest Comes as McCain and Palin Face Greater Scrutiny on Housing Issues
ARLINGTON, VA -- Workers today called on Senator John McCain to open his home to families facing foreclosure at a protest outside his luxury condo in Crystal City, VA. The event, sponsored by labor and community groups, was designed to highlight the growing disconnect between Senator McCain and the challenges facing working families across the country. The action culminated with the construction of a tent city across the street from McCain's condo -- one of seven homes he and his wife own around the country. The rally was the first in a series of coordinated demonstrations that will take place in six cities around the country this week.
The protest comes as the housing and unemployment crises have reached new heights. As major banks announce bankruptcy, seek bridge loans, and pursue buyouts, average Americans watch the value of their homes plummet as their mortgage payments soar. A record 1.2 million houses were in foreclosure during the second quarter of 2008. Last week the federal government announced the takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fueling renewed fears about the housing market. In August, employers nationwide cut 84,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate rose to a five-year high of 6.1 percent. These blows to the economy come in the eighth year of George W. Bush's tenure as president. One of the president's most vocal supporters, Senator McCain has voted with Bush on economic and other issues 90 percent of the time, and plans to continue many of these policies if elected.