Last week, union activists around Virginia took part in the AFL-CIO’s “Good Jobs Now, Make Wall Street Pay” week of action. In Roanoke, Norfolk and Newport News members from CWA, IBEW, SMWIA and UA locals educated the public about Wall Street’s continued shenanigans.
Members handed out leaflets describing the bailout money Bank of America received in TARP funds as well as the millions in bonuses they’re handing out to their highest execs.
Jody Moore and Chuck Simpson, both out of CWA Local 2204, explained that the TARP money wasn’t supposed to simply “go into CEOs’ pockets as bonuses, but was intended to create jobs.”
Andy Thomas (UA Local 540) notes, “They need to start turning the money loose and loaning it to contractors and small businesses, so we can start getting the economy rolling again.”
Tommy Miller (IBEW Local 26) added, “they’ve been bailed out of the situation, now we need them to invest back into the system to create jobs for people. Lots of jobs.”
They’re now spending millions to lobby against financial reform and against basic ground rules that will help prevent the type of financial disaster that brought the US economy to its knees. These regulations include the creation of a strong independent consumer protection agency. We call on the banks to stop fighting against sensible reform.
Wall Street still doesn’t get the message. Their mindset is that they can keep doing the same practices- the same ones that got us into this hole.
We spoke with one gentlemen in Roanoke who owns a small photography business and whose brother has an automotive shop.
We actually could use the help in our shops but without loans we’re not able to expand our business and hire. We’re not in a position to be hiring really qualified, top employees.
Warren Kilgore, IBEW Local 80, added, “It’s time to give money back to Main Street, not Wall Street, and have some justice for the working class folks who are trying to pay their mortgages and scraping along in an economy with high unemployment.”
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