Jobs with Justice Declares Jobs Emergency Day of Action
“Joblessness is the central issue for voters in this election,” said Sarita Gupta, Jobs with Justice Executive Director. “People are angry, and for good reason. Corporate greed and recklessness have driven the country into a crisis, and leaders in Washington have yet to offer any real solutions. If Congress won’t act to create jobs, then maybe they don’t deserve to have jobs.”
The core demands of the protests are full and fair employment – including passage of legislation like Local Jobs for America Act which would save or create 1 million jobs, extension of the emergency Temporary Assistance to Needy Families subsidized jobs program, and extension of emergency unemployment compensation – and passage of a Financial Speculation Tax that would rein in the more destabilizing aspects of Wall Street and generate $200-$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,” said Gupta. “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.”
Nationwide, the “jobs deficit” is about 11 million, with 5 job-seekers for every job opening.
“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,” said 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.” Chicago Jobs with Justice has started one of nearly a dozen local “Unemployed Workers Councils” across the country.
“The Senate has to stop letting its vocal minority, on behalf of Wall Street and Big Business, block a recovery for the rest of us,” said San Francisco Jobs with Justice coordinator Gordon Mar. “Big business is sitting on record cash reserves. Rather than put America back to work, they’re spending that money opposing jobs and fair taxes.”
The jobs deficit means State and local revenues are drying up and local tax bases are eroding, threatening vital public services, not to mention putting another 500,000-700,000 people out of work across the country.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the bailed out Wall Street banks are making ‘bumper earnings” while non-financial US corporations are sitting on more than $8 Trillion in cash reserves. A mere 20% of those holdings could pay 5 million Americans $70,000/year for five years.
In addition to the September 15 Day of Action, Jobs with Justice coalitions across the country are organizing to address the jobs emergency in multiple ways, including organizing local Unemployed Workers Councils, and building for the “One Nation Working Together” march on Washington on October 2.
For a list of cities planning actions and to learn more, visit http://www.jwj.org/jobs.
Jobs with Justice is a national network of 47 local coalitions that bring together more than 1,500 labor unions, faith groups, community organizations and student activists to fight for working people.