Workers Rally on Capitol Hill for “Jobs, Not Cuts”

by Pablo Ros  |  February 12, 2013

Workers Rally on Capitol Hill for “Jobs, Not Cuts” Over 1,000 workers from across the country rallied on Capitol Hill to demand jobs, not cuts for working families. (Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah)

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders today joined workers from across the country at a rally on Capitol Hill, demanding that Congress close loopholes for Wall Street and business moguls and make no cuts to the programs that working families rely on, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Jobs, not cuts! Jobs, not cuts!” the crowd chanted.

“We’re here for the families across America,” said Saunders, “from California to New York, who have had enough.”

Holding signs that read, “Hands off our Medicare,” “Stop the sequester,” and “Tax Wall Street, Rebuild Main Street,” the more than 1,000-person crowd in Senate Park was a show of solidarity among members of AFSCME, AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), SEIU, CWA, and others.

Too many politicians have “selective sight,” Saunders said. “They don’t truly see the workers who toil day after day, night after night…. Yes, they can see the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. But somehow, some way, everybody else is invisible to them.”

Workers gathered at the rally had a straightforward message for their representatives in Congress: We don’t need more cuts to vital programs like Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. What we need is jobs—to take care of our families, support neighborhoods and communities, and grow our economy. And we need fairness: it’s time for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to start paying their fair share.

“We’re the ones who have made this nation great,” Saunders said. “We’re the ones whose work touches all communities. And we’re the true wealth-builders across this land!”

The series of spending cuts known as “the sequester” is set to go into effect at the end of this month, and could eliminate as many as 1.4 million jobs. It would have disastrous consequences for many American families still recovering from the Bush Recession, and could have adverse economic effects for the nation and the world.

Ohio Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge also was present at the rally. Behind the podium, Pres. Saunders was joined by AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka and AFGE Pres. J. David Cox Sr. in demanding jobs, not cuts for middle-class families.

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