assets51.jpgThis afternoon, senior union leaders from the Change to Win federation of labor outlined a $350 billion plan to revitalize the economy in the wake of the financial meltdown.

The federation’s bottom line is that whatever Washington does to bail out Wall Street has to be accompanied by support for working people.

CtW is calling for an economic stimulus plan. Officials said their plan would create 10 million good jobs with benefits by investing in infrastructure and the emerging green economy. Anna Berger of CtW said that the initiative would bail out Main Street as well as Wall Street.

Bruce Raynor of UNITE HERE said that his members are left out of the proposed Bush bailout plan, which offers money to bankers but nothing to workers. Mortgages are at the root of the financial crisis Raynor noted.

Ultimately, the banks are floundering because people can’t make their mortgage payments.  

Raynor said his members need bankruptcy reform to help them renegotiate their mortgages and keep their homes.

CtW is calling for a help for homeowners paired with stimulus package for state and local governments, so that they can continue to provide services and keep people employed.

Jim Hoffa of the Teamsters urged Washington to extend the deadline for union pension funds to comply with the Pension Protection Act. Thousands of union-run pension plans have been hit hard by the collapse of mortgage-backed securities.

"We don’t want to have these pension funds get into trouble because of an artificially caused sub-prime crisis," he said.

Andy Stern of the SEIU announced that CtW’s 14,000 campaign staffers would begin a national conversation about the economic crisis as they went door to door, talking to voters. Stern said that his staffers would also be contacting Democrats and Republicans in Congress to discuss their support for what he described as "broader investment" in the economy.

"We cannot afford John McCain. Has not voted for one piece of leg that would have stopped this," said Anna Berger.

Lindsay Beyerstein

Lindsay Beyerstein