The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Josh Goldstein/Amaya Tune (202) 637-5018

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Record Wall Street Bonuses

"Hard-working Americans will not be ATMs for Wall Street"


Just a year ago, Wall Street banks pleaded for taxpayers to bail
them out to save us all from financial disaster. We did. So now that
banks and securities firms are on their feet again, what's their
response? A record $145 billion in executive bonuses for 2009--a year
when more than four million Americans lost their jobs, largely because
of the actions of these very institutions. That is simply

Hard-working Americans will not be ATMs for Wall Street. Today the AFL-CIO demands that Wall Street stop bankrupting America.

We support President Obama's proposed tax on the largest financial
institutions to recoup the cost of their bailout program, and we join
labor unions worldwide in seeking a tax on securities transactions to
curb financial speculation. Financial companies must not be allowed to
go back to business as usual--or worse. We urge the President and
Congress to make financial re-regulation a top priority:

- Create a new consumer financial protection agency.

- Regulate the shadow capital markets, including hedge funds, private equity and over-the-counter derivatives.

- Reform corporate governance and executive pay.

- Create a systemic risk regulator that is accountable to the public.

The AFL-CIO, and its community affiliate Working America are
organizing working American families to oppose outrageous Wall Street
pay packages. Working America is kicking off a campaign calling on
lawmakers to end Wall Street bonuses and start creating jobs.

We must protect Americans who play by the rules, help small
businesses, prevent future bailouts and job losses and lay the
foundation for a financial system that promotes stability and long-term
economic growth for our nation and for all.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) works tirelessly to improve the lives of working people. We are the democratic, voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women.