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SEIU to Congress: Act Now To Relieve Pressure on Working People
WASHINGTON - January 6 - Thousands of members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) this week will make calls, send emails, and set up lobby visits to urge Congress to act as swiftly on real economic recovery for working people in America as they did to bail out Wall Street.
“We have an incredible opportunity to help President-Elect Obama fulfill the promise to create good jobs for millions of hardworking people in America,” said SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger. “People are excited about Obama’s inauguration, but they are worried about losing their own jobs, their healthcare, their ability to retire, their homes, losing their way of life for their kids. These fears are real and they are urgent, because leading economists say that without significant aid to states our economy is going to plunge deeper into recession.”
SEIU members are providing crucial public services – health care, senior services, and public safety – to the growing number of people most affected by the economic crisis. These services are in jeopardy as the widening crisis provokes severe state budget shortfalls this year and next, resulting in proposals to slash services people depend on.
“With these cuts, a lot of people won’t be able to live at home anymore,” said Dinorah Villalta, an SEIU member and Los Angeles homecare worker. “Imagine a frail, elderly woman who uses a walker and sometimes struggles with bladder and bowel control. She won’t get any help keeping her house clean and safe, and she’ll start having a lot of trouble. That’s cruel.”
Thousands of SEIU members this week will contact members of Congress to share stories and examples of how state and local economies are in big trouble, and in need of immediate action through a bipartisan economic recovery plan that will have a big impact.
“People are counting on us to roll up our sleeves and rebuild Main Street communities in ways we’ve never imagined, in ways that won’t just once again benefit the same small Wall Street barons who got us into this mess,” said Burger.
Burger and SEIU President Andy Stern recently sent letters to Congress and the Obama transition team describing the elements of an economic recovery plan would work for working people, including:
- significant relief to state and local governments to preserve and rebuild crucial services and good jobs;
- major spending on infrastructure projects that are shovel-ready and others that with help create jobs and bolster local communities in the long-term; and
- spending on innovations in the health care and energy sectors to restore our economic competitiveness and put us on a sustainable path.
SEIU members are pressing for the economic recovery package as the first part of a wider campaign, Change That Works, designed to bring economic solutions to Main Street, including efforts to fix the nation’s healthcare system and ensure workers have a voice on the job.