General Strike for Stimulus
Sister and Brother officers of regional AFL-CIO and non-affiliated unions:
Several regional councils asked the national AFL-CIO to authorize a general strike to defend fair elections, which was a courageous and historic act. We, the undersigned union officers, ask for a similar authorization for a general strike to demand government stimulus money. Millions of working-class people desperately need $2,000/month during the pandemic to pay their bills and otherwise survive.
Organized Labor is now the only force left to rescue millions of suffering people because Congress is deadlocked for 2 more months while Trump funds mainly Wall Street. We believe it is unconscionable if Labor fails to use our economic leverage to alleviate this suffering.
After 250,000 U.S. COVID deaths and a thousand deaths per day this month and rising, another 100,000 deaths is possible by January. Ten million of us are infected with COVID-19. Workers need stimulus money instead of unsafe jobs.
Voters just defeated a president who failed to help everybody when he had the chance. Now when we have the chance, will we help everybody or will we, like Trump, turn our backs? Remember what built the unions: united we stand – divided we fall. Workers have friends and family members who are out of work and need stimulus money to pay the bills.
Ironically, we need to shut down the economy in order to start the economy. The economy cannot re-start without Federal stimulus money to spend. Organized Labor can enforce this now. Waiting to see if the Senate will be able to break the deadlock on Jan. 9 is gambling with millions of lives. We have the power. Let us use it! Please ask the AFL-CIO to authorize a “General Strike for Stimulus.”
Here is the suffering which can be alleviated by the power of the AFL-CIO:
• We need safe jobs or income now, with a stimulus that helps working people, not billionaires.
• We must end racism & police terror and establish community control of police - now!
• Everyone should have affordable health care during the pandemic and after.
• We must prohibit evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut offs during the pandemic.
• A guarantee of safe working conditions plus hazard pay for workers during the pandemic.
• A tax system that makes the rich pay their fair share, while cutting taxes for working people.
Kit Andrews, retired, former President, Barre Chapter, Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA).
Richard Ochs, retired shop steward, Local #24, Industrial Union of Marine & Shipbuilding Workers of America (IUMSWA) Baltimore MD.
and pensioned member of Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU).
George Vlasits, USWA 3185, Shop Steward and Grievance Committeeman retired.
Montgomery County Educators Association (NEA affiliate), Building Rep, retired.
Sharon Black, former UFCW Local 27 shop steward, Baltimore MD.
Tom Smith shop steward, UE Local 120 and Building Rep, Baltimore Teachers Union, AFT
Thurman Wenzl, staff industrial hygienist, International Chemical Workers Union. Safetyman, International Longshoreman's Assoc. Local 333