Last week the AFL-CIO held a huge labor rally in California in which thousands of unemployed (union and non-union) participants attended. While speaking at the rally, the AFL-CIO’s President, Richard Trumka called on private-sector and public employees “to come together and face the job-cutters.” You can read more of comments that were made at the rally here.
As many of you know, the unemployed – particularly the 99er community – have been struggling to organize themselves effectively. There have been many great efforts put forth by the UWAG, U-Cubed and other groups as well as individuals but because the unemployed have very little income, if any, it has been difficult to put together a rally or ‘protest’ that is big enough in size and scope to get the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Well, that problem may very be solved in time for the unemployed to have an impact on the mid-term elections in November. Tonight, on the Keith Olbermann show, guest Karen Nussbaum, Executive Director of the AFL-CIO’s non-union affiliate, Working America will announce the initiation of a nationwide effort to bring the unemployed together so that their voices are unmistakably heard in Washington and are reflected in polls across the country come November. Between the efforts (and large membership base) of Working America, the UWAG, U-Cubed and others, we should be able to make the unemployed a formidable action group!
The success of last week’s rally in California prompted me to call the local AFL-CIO office and the office of its non-union affiliate, Working America, and asked they could help organize the 16,000 (and growing) group of 99ers in Colorado. Yesterday, I got a call from the AFL-CIO who directed me to the Unemployment Lifeline, a Working America/AFL-CIO collaborative website which contains a wealth of information for the unemployed.
Today, I received a call from Kevin Pape who is with Working America’s Denver operation. Kevin has asked me to meet with him next week so that we can ‘work together in organizing a rally similar to the one held last week in CA’. This is an effort that will taking place throughout the country. If you are interested in participating in organization efforts, please contact your local Working America office.
Arthur Delaney, of the Huffington Post also wrote about this in his article published today, “Working America, Labor Group, To Mobilize Unemployed Voters”.
I will write more about this as details become available. Tune in to tonight’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC tonight at 8pm EST / 6pm MST. I am sure that many lawmakers will be turning their heads and tuning their ears into this bit of 99er/unemployed news!
Note: MSNBC has pre-empted all programming tonight to cover the exit of US Soldiers in Iraq. This is good news, but means the announcement/interview with Karen Nussbaum, Exec. Dir. of Working America was not aired tonight. I am (assuming) this will air tomorrow and will update this post as needed.
I will also post another article soon about the (non) progress regarding the distribution of SEB2 benefits in Colorado.