Like millions of jobless and underemployed Americans, Tom Rutherford wants to work. The jobless, 22-year veteran licensed electrician and Electrical Workers (IBEW) member has a college degree, has continually improved his skills with special training and is currently taking another upgrading course.
I’m doing my part to get back on the job. But sadly, Congress is not making the same amount effort to help create jobs. They would rather play political games than find sensible solutions to the jobs crisis, like rebuilding the infrastructure. They need to stop playing these games with the lives of millions of American families like mine.
Today, Rutherford joined AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Minnesota Working America member Kim Watkins in a press conference call outlining the AFL-CIO’s upcoming America Wants to Work mobilization and the union movement’s backing of the growing Occupy Wall Street protests.
Trumka says the spreading Wall Street protests show the growing anger and outrage over an economy with 25 million people out of work or underemployed—with a brutal impact on the communities of color—millions of families losing their homes and health care.
But the bonuses keep flowing. And Wall Street wants to hold onto the tax cuts that help the top one percent and undo the financial reform that was passed last year. Like the protestors on Wall Street are saying, we have an economy and a political process that isn’t serving the 99 percent of our country.
So yes, there’s anger. There’s outrage. We’re seeing it on Wall Street and in actions in cities across the country.
Beginning Oct. 10, the AFL-CIO’s America Wants to Work initiative will bring working people together in hundreds of week of action events to demand action from Congress to promote a real jobs creation agenda. Says Trumka:
Hundreds of thousands of people are standing up together by joining in this week of action and they will continue to call for passage of President Obama’s American Jobs Act and a just economy—and they’re not going away. They’ll be back and back and back until lawmakers finally listen. Every elected leader will be held accountable for creating the jobs we need and putting America back to work.
Click here to find an America Wants to Work action near you next week and here for information on the Oct. 12 America Wants to Work National Teach-In. You also can sign anAmerica Wants to Work petition to Congress here.
Watkins, the mother of 16 year-old daughter, has worked since she was 15. But now she says:
I’m really struggling lately working part time and going back to school. I’ve had to use emergency food banks and other help.
I feel like we are very much under attack. I see people being fired and having their wages reduced. There are common sense solutions to create jobs. We can start by rebuilding bridges, roads, the infrastructure. I’d really like to see politicians focus on making investments to create jobs so we can all work because we all want to work so we can make a decent living.
Click here for a map of the nation’s 69,223 structurally deficient bridges and send a message your members of Congress to pass legislation like the American Jobs Act to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and put American back to work.