Sunday, November 30, 2008

San Francisco Labor Council statement on the Economic Crisis...

This was sent to me by Alan Benjamin, Executive Board Member of the San Francisco Labor Council...

the AFL-CIO & Change To Win

Whereas, On Monday, September 22, 2008, the San Francisco Labor Council Delegates adopted a "Resolution to U.S. Congress Demanding their Opposition to the Bailout of the Bad Debts of the Financial Industry."
Whereas, none of this Council's recommendations of Sept. 22, 2008 have been implemented, and
Whereas, the Bush Administration/Paulson bailouts have not forced the banks to lend money or restricted the use of the tax dollar bailout; and
Whereas, Naomi Klein reports that, "The more details emerge, the clearer it becomes that Washington's handling of the Wall Street bailout is not merely incompetent. It is borderline criminal." And Congressman Barney Frank says, "The money is going to bonuses. It is going to shareholders. And it is not going to lending. This violates the (bailout) act;" and
Whereas, the most recent, but not the only, anti-worker impact of the financial crisis is the attempt to bust the United Auto Workers Union as a remedy for the failures of the big three auto companies -- as if the auto workers were at fault for the business decisions of the Wall St. owners of the auto industry, the impacts of a globalized automobile industry, and the impact of health-care costs on making U.S.-based auto production less than competitive or cost-efficient; and
Whereas, the Republicans and their media servants cry for dismantling UAW contracts and benefits, it is clear that universal single payer expansion of Medicare for All Americans will relieve employers of being the main supplier of health care, while enabling workers to have portable universal access to care; and
Whereas, after the $290 billion that has been given away to the bankers, Secretary of Treasury Paulson has earmarked $410 billion for the new President to administer; and
Whereas, John Sweeney has stated that, "[W]orking people need an economic recovery package that will jump-start the economy and put America back to work. ... We need an immediate investment plan to create jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads and schools and bridges;" andWhereas, while the banking and globalizing economic forces are gathering around the new administration to support Wall Street, the AFL-CIO has called for action to aid and benefit Main Street; and
Whereas, the current situation requires thoughtful and coordinated action by labor if we are to achieve real support for the working class; and
Whereas, even the new president cannot move this mountain of embedded corruption and greed without overwhelming pressure from those of us who elected him.
Therefore, the SFLC shall establish an ad-hoc Economic Crisis Committee to evaluate and recommend to the Council an action program of specific remedies and policies to also convey to the State Federation of Labor, the AFL-CIO and CTW regarding the ongoing theft of tax payer dollars and the continuing decline of workers' well-being; and
Be it further resolved, that this Economic Crisis Committee shall provide a preliminary report to the Council as soon as possible or by the time of the first 2009 meeting of the delegates on January 12, 2009, in order to be prepared to powerfully communicate our concerns and perspective to the new incoming President Barack Obama.Subject to the Committee's work, here are some proposed demands that probably should be included in such a plan. Proposals for direct action or legislative action to back up such demands and not noted here:

(1) Put a halt to the Paulson bailout plan. No more money to bail out Wall Street. Bail out working people. Use all the remaining $410 billion for the people.

(2) Repeal the Bush tax cuts given the wealthy 1% of the population and the transnational corporations. Do not extend the tax cuts. Strictly regulate the hedge fund, sub-prime and other derivatives' markets. Re-establish the firewalls between banking, insurance and investment industries.

(3) Enact a moratorium on all home foreclosures, utility shut-offs, evictions and rent hikes for owner and tenant occupied units.

(4) Enact the Employee Free Choice Act so that every worker can choose to have union representation.

(5) Enact a universal, single-payer healthcare plan, specifically HR 676 expanding Medicare to all Americans.

(6) Enact a massive national reconstruction public works program to rebuild the nation's schools, hospitals and crumbling infrastructure and to put millions of people back to work, with a prevailing wage, including all necessary funding for a genuine Reconstruction program in the Gulf Coast. Launch a national program of building housing and schools, community clinics and community recreation facilities, in working class communities across the nation..

(7) Stop the union-busting in auto, and halt all layoffs in auto and other industries across the country, and prohibit the transfer of manufacturing and service jobs overseas. Build ecological sustainable industries in the U.S., whether it is by converting existing industries or building new ones. Put the American working class back to productive work. We need a new New Deal. Impose a moratorium on all "Free Trade" agreements.

(8) End the war and occupation of Iraq and get the troops and the private military contractors out of Iraq now. Redirect the war funding to meet human needs.(9) Stop the ICE raids and deportations on immigrant workers.

Respectully submitted,

Denis Mosgofian, GCC-IBT 4N
Alan Benjamin, OPEIU 3
Tom Edminster, UESF(organizations for identification)
Adopted by the SFLC Delegate Body November 24, 2008

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