Trumka: ‘We’re Going to Rebuild America With Jobs’

Crossposted from AFL-CIO Now Blog

In the political showdown between Wall Street and Main Street, California is a key battleground. With the third highest jobless rate in the country and a towering budget deficit, California needs leaders who can create and save jobs, not just spout ”more of the same corporate bull,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a crowd of thousands at a mass jobs rally in Los Angeles today.

“How are we going to rebuild America? With jobs! Who’s going to rebuild America? Working people with jobs!”

The choice for voters is clear in California, said Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation. The Republican candidates for governor and U.S. senator, respectively, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, are mirror images of each other.

Both are failed CEOs. Both slashed thousands of jobs to make themselves richer. And both have a dangerous agenda that will douse any hope for economic recovery. They want to slash jobs. Eliminate pensions. Scale back overtime pay and meal breaks for workers. They’re part of the greed is good crowd. I think it’s pretty clear that’s the wrong direction.

It is crazy that Wall Street would destroy our economy and rob us of millions of jobs, Trumka said, and the Republican response is: “Great! How about more of the same?”

We’re done with that kind of deal for America.

Delegates to the Letter Carriers (NALC) convention, meeting in nearby Anaheim, joined the rally along with union members from the building trades, public employees and other trades to send a strong message: “Paychecks Pay the Bills.”

Participants carried signs highlighting the need for jobs as the top answer to the economic crisis and to push for the 30/10 Initiative to build 30 year’s worth of mass transit in the next 10 years.

They also called for the U.S. Postal Service to continue six-day mail delivery and keep thousands of postal jobs and for more money for public safety, schools, mass transit and health care.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), NALC President Fredric Rolando, Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and community and labor leaders also spoke at the rally in front of city hall.