No Winners in Government Shutdown: Organized Labor Makes Demands on Congress

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After more than two weeks of holding the country hostage in an unnecessary and expensive shutdown of the federal government, the House Republicans have given in and agreed to fund the government of the United States again and allow agencies to reopen their doors for service.

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But there are no winners, according to AFL-CIO Policy Director Damon Silvers.

“This unnecessary shutdown has cost our country an estimated $24 billion and we will continue to feel the economic impact in the coming weeks,” Silvers said in a statement sent to members on Friday. “Our country is revving back up again, but we’re still under attack.”

House Republicans are going back to lick their wounds and prepare for the battle ahead, he said.

“Just like last year, they want to put the 99 percent on the chopping block and bail out the billionaires and millionaires who already take too much from this country,” he said. “If they’re willing to risk a global economic meltdown just to get their way, what aren’t they willing to risk? In the coming months we’re going to have a fight over the direction of our economy and our nation.”

Now that the government is back to work, click here to send a “Welcome home” message to Congress, he said, “and remind them we’ve been watching, and we have some demands of our own.”

While the Republicans wants to do more bloodletting, he said, the labor movement “knows what medicine this country needs. We demand an end to job-destroying fiscal austerity—the repeal of sequester,” he said. “We demand no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits, period. And we demand an end to the $600 billion in tax breaks given to companies for sending their business overseas for the next 10 years.”

The GOP and its Wall Street cronies must be getting some kind of satisfaction from cutting retirement benefits for 90-year-olds, from preying on the most vulnerable among us, he said. “But the labor movement stands between them and even more tax breaks. We stand between them and a country up for grabs to the highest bidder.”

If you want to help the unions fight on these fronts, you can click here to take action.

© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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