Labor Movement to Take On Big Bankers

(from the Sheet Metal Workers International

The A.F.L.-C.I.O. announced on Wednesday that it will sponsor two “Weeks of Action” including demonstrations in 200 cities against the nation’s major banks.

The demonstrations will be held from March 15 through March 30 with the slogan  “Good Jobs Now, Make Wall Street Pay.”

The demonstrations will have three goals: getting banks to pay their fair share, getting banks to stop fighting tougher new banking regulations and getting banks to lend more to “Main Street” and small businesses in order to boost jobs in the current difficult economy.

The rallies and protests will take place at branches and office of Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, to name a few.

According to Vincent Panvini, SMWIA Director of Political and Government Affairs, “the people who put us in this mess and killed millions of jobs ought to be funding the creation of millions of new jobs.”

Organized labor will call for a “speculative” tax on short-term financial transactions, a tax that could raise $400 billion a year and would discourage a short-term investment mentality.

The labor movement is also calling for imposing  higher taxes on banker’ bonuses and on the large incomes of hedge fund executives.

Put a Union Label On It–IBEW Team Makes Super Bowl Work

Super Bowl XLIV was the most watched show in TV history. But before the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts took the field, a different kind of team was behind the scenes, making sure the game was seen around the world.

More than 500 broadcast technicians, all members of the Electrical Workers (IBEW), were in the stands, on the field, behind cameras and in the control room to make the Super Bowl work. In a new video (above), IBEW tells the story of this unseen but vital group that made watching the game possible.

There were 90 cameras alone. Neil McCaffrey, a member of IBEW Local 1212, has operated a camera at seven Super Bowls. He says:

Everyone wants to participate in it [Super Bowl] because it’s so big. So it’s a great sense of brotherhood.

Martin Febres, a freelance technician and member of IBEW Local 108 who was working his first Super Bowl, says:

[The other IBEW workers] are willing to share their knowledge. They’re willing to give you that experience. That’s one of the great things I like about IBEW.

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