The U.S. Senate passed a bill Thursday night to eliminate furloughs to air traffic controllers. Today, the House also passed the bill, which now goes on to the president for his signature. The furloughs caused thousands of flight delays—with some reaching three hours—and public outcry is significant.
U.S. lawmakers and policymakers who are pushing extreme austerity measures and spending cuts over job-creating investments as the magic path to economic stability should take a long hard look at what’s happened to the nations of the European Union (EU) that have imposed strict fiscal austerity policies. Unemployment has soared, according to a new report on the EU labor market from the International Labor Organization (ILO).
There are more than 10 million more jobless people in Europe now than at the start of the crisis. There are now more than 26 million Europeans without jobs, with young and low-skilled workers being the hardest hit.
Calling sequestration “just a fancy word for a dumb idea,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the 750,000 job-killing, across-the-board budget cuts and other moves toward fiscal austerity will “further weaken the economy and cost jobs” and make even worse “the crisis of mass unemployment. Millions of Americans who want to work cannot find jobs.”
Writing in a special report in The Hill on jobs and the economy, Trumka says:
On some days, it seems like all of official Washington is racing to embrace the most destructive consensus since the Iraq war.
In more than 100 events across the country Wednesday, working families rallied outside lawmakers’ offices, federal agencies, military bases and elsewhere to shine a spotlight on the impact of the sequester’s across-the-board cuts that will cost more than 750,000 jobs this year alone and to call for its repeal.
While most of the actions aimed at members of Congress were focused on Republicans who are using the sequester as leverage to get their way in Congress, in Beckley, W.Va., a group of more than 50 AFGE and other union members and community supporters received a shout out of support from Rep. Nick Rahall (D).
As part of Wednesday’s national day of action to repeal the sequester, “Building Unions,” a weekly radio show from the Connecticut AFL-CIO and Greater Hartford Central Labor Council will discuss sequestration, its impact on working families and the drive to repeal the across-the-board budget cuts.
The show airs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on WATR 1320 AM. Click on the “Listen Live” button to stream the show that will feature Connecticut AFL-CIO President John Olsen, labor council President Peggy Buchanan and members of AFGE, AFT and the Machinists (IAM).
Across-the-board budget cuts—called sequestration—will cost more than 750,000 jobs this year alone and many more jobs over the next decade. There is a simple solution to make this problem go away: repeal sequestration.
It's that simple.
Join working families on March 20 for a national day of actions at congressional offices and in our communities.
Democratic Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Alan Grayson (Fla.) and Raul Grijalva (Ariz.) will demand action on a one-sentence bill introduced by Conyers called the "Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013."
You can watch the press conference live at 12 p.m. EDT here or in this blog.
Holding out for ransom demands in the form of benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Senate Republicans today again refused to surrender their hostages—the nation’s economy and working families who will be hurt by the upcoming Republican sequester.
Republicans led the charge to defeat a Democratic plan that would have eliminated the across-the-board sequestration budget cuts for the remainder of 2013, which the Congressional Budget Office has estimated would cost 750,000 jobs.