[Marxism] Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign

David Walsh davidrail68 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 31 14:56:47 MDT 2009

In recent months, we have witnessed billions of dollars pumped into the financial institutions WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Reckless behavior and greed have been graced with the most extravagant rewards, allowing the rich to get even richer. After receiving their bailout, A.I.G. executives resumed their plans for a retreat at a lavish resort. Meanwhile, foreclosures have risen, unemployment has soared, and misery has spread with virtually nothing being done for the millions of workers suffering from these afflictions.
We cannot sit back and simply hope that things will get better. The financial executives have organized themselves and lobbied for bailouts. We must now do the same. We must organize ourselves and mount a campaign, insisting that government programs benefit the majority of the population first and foremost, not the super wealthy small minority.
At this historic crossroads, as we face the prospects of another Great Depression, we, the undersigned dedicate ourselves to forging the broadest unity in action among those in the labor movement, Black and Latino organizations, immigrant rights groups, and antiwar and other social justice protest movements to secure the emergency measures listed below.
We endorse these demands as necessary steps to address the pressing needs of working people and the oppressed in general so that we can all enjoy a secure and comfortable life and find relief from an economic crisis we had no part in creating. We are committed to reaching out to more workers and encouraging them to endorse our demands and join our movement, the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign (WERC), so that we can form committees across the country, organize educational forums, and then aim at building a national conference to promote this campaign. In this way we can begin to win the majority of working people to this agenda. In solidarity we can win.
Here are 10 fundamental demands that we believe should be included in a Workers’ Emergency Recovery Plan to Bail out Working People — NOT Wall Street:
1. Put a halt to the Wall Street bailout plan. Not one more penny should be earmarked to bail out the bankers and speculators. It’s time to bail out working people.
Enact a moratorium on all home foreclosures, utility shut-offs, evictions and rent hikes. Nationalize the mortgage industry, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Enact H.R. 676 — the universal, single-payer healthcare plan. Take the private insurance companies out of the healthcare equation. Guarantee fully funded pensions for retirees, along with healthcare and other benefits.
Enact the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) so that every worker can have union representation.
Stop the layoffs in auto and other industries across the country. Nationalize the Big 3 automakers. Re-tool the auto industry to build rapid mass transit, solar, and wind systems.
Stop the scapegoating of immigrant workers. Stop the ICE raids and deportations.
End all funding for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops home now. The war expenditures in these countries alone are estimated at $3 trillion. Redirect all war funding to meet human needs.
Enact a massive national reconstruction public works program (minimum expenditure needed of $1 trillion) to rebuild the nation’s schools, hospitals and crumbling infrastructure and to put millions of people back to work at a union-scale wage. Provide all necessary funding for a genuine reconstruction program in the Gulf Coast; enact the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (H.R. 4048).
Defend and expand the rights and economic security of those who are unable to work. Grant living-wage benefits to single parents, disabled, seniors, and the unemployed. End the arbitrary, punitive time limits, sanctions, denial of education, and forced unwaged workfare in the TANF welfare program.
Tax the corporations and the rich — not working people — to finance a workers’ recovery plan. The rich currently enjoy historically high levels of wealth while being taxed at bargain-basement rates. Implement a retroactive tax on windfall revenue on the oil-energy industry, return capital income taxation to 1981 levels, and repatriate the $2 trillion from the offshore tax havens

Dave Walsh



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