Over 100 People Attend Rally in Ithaca Demanding “Full & Fair Employment”; Declare a Jobs Emergency: Announce Plans to Mobilize for 10/2 Rally in Washington, DC

The Unemployed and Underemployed Support Group of the Tompkins County Workers’ Center, held a rally last night on the Ithaca Commons that was attended by over 100 people and declared a “jobs emergency” and called for full and fair employment: locally, regionally, and nationally.

In addition to the rally being coordinated with over a hundred such events nationwide,a call was also made to get people to Washington, DC on Saturday, October 2nd for a national rally where over 250,000 people are expected to attend. The Workers’ Center is working closely with United Auto Workers Local 2300 to send two buses, free of charge to passengers, to attend the rally. Contact the Workers’ Center at 607-269-0409 or send an email to TCWRC@yahoo.com if you are interested in attending the 10/2 rally. To learn more about One Nation, go to OneNationWorkingTogether.org

The core demands of the Wednesday, September 15th rally were full and fair employment – including passage of legislation like the Local Jobs for America Act which would save or create 1 million jobs, job creation through small business seed grants, green and renewable energy as a solution, increased funding for job training, a commitment from local and state legislative bodies to make local purchasing a top priority, 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.

“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,” said Carlos Gutierrez , Community Union Organizer with the Workers’ Center. “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.”

“A tax of just a quarter of 1% on stock sales and purchases would have raised $360 billion in 2008,” said Theresa Alt of the Workers’ Center Board. “If I can pay 8% sales tax when I buy stockings, why can’t people pay a quarter or half a percent when they buy stocks?”

“If Congress focuses on reducing the federal budget deficit rather than fixing the jobs deficit, millions of workers and communities will suffer,” said Bev Abplanalp, cofounder of the Unemployed and Underemployed Workers Support Group. “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. Locally there are frequently 80-125 or higher number of applicants for a single 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 Mike Roenke, an underemployed worker with the Support Group. “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.”

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.