Sept. 15 Day of Action: We’re in a Jobs Emergency!
by James Parks, Sep 3, 2010
With their six-figure salaries and government-paid health care, members of Congress may not feel the pinch of a 9.6 percent unemployment rate. But millions of Americans are in pain, and on Sept. 15, they will shout loud and clear that we are in an emergency and Congress must act immediately to create good jobs.
Sept. 15 is the day workers, students and community and religious groups in dozens of cities across the country will revive one of the key demands of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” by calling for full and fair employment and demanding the government declare a national “jobs emergency.”
“It’s time for corporate apologists in the Senate, who are blocking a recovery for the rest of us, to recognize what workers already know: we are in a jobs emergency that requires a bold, emergency response,” says Sarita Gupta, executive director of Jobs with Justice, the main organizer of the protests.
With record long-term unemployment and communities losing vital public services, it is time to put full and fair employment and a massive federal works program—core demands from the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom that Glenn Beck wants us to forget—back on the national agenda.
Protestors will demand that Congress pass the Local Jobs for America Act, which would save or create 1 million jobs, extend emergency Temporary Assistance to Needy Families subsidized jobs program, extend emergency unemployment compensation and pass a financial speculation tax that would rein in the more destabilizing aspects of Wall Street and generate $200 to $500 billion annually.
If Congress focuses on reducing the federal budget deficit rather than fixing the jobs deficit, millions of workers and communities will suffer. When Wall Street was in crisis, Congress found hundreds of billions of dollars to bail them out. We need to respond to the jobs crisis with the same urgency.
The Wall Street Journal reported that taxpayer bailed-out Wall Street banks are making “bumper earnings” while non-financial U.S. corporations are sitting on more than $8 trillion in cash reserves. A mere 20 percent of those holdings could employ 5 million Americans at $70,000 a year for five years.
”Our community has been devastated by the jobs emergency and these conservatives are actually bragging about blocking a federal job creation program while they help Wall Street and greedy corporations make record profits,” says Elce Redmond of Chicago Jobs with Justice and the South Austin Coalition.
Our country needs full and fair employment. Anybody that wants to work should be able to find a job, and not just any job but a job with justice.