From People's World: http://www.peoplesworld.org/unions-joining-wall-street-protests/
by: John Wojcik
September 30 2011
September 30 2011
NEW YORK - Major labor unions are joining the Occupy Wall Street protests here, now in their 14th day.Continue reading at: http://www.peoplesworld.org/unions-joining-wall-street-protests/
Despite inclement weather, the number of overnight "occupiers" has grown by a third, from 200 on the first night, Sept. 17, to over 300 the last few nights.
Yesterday, the Transport Workers Union, Local 100, which represents 38,000 MTA workers, voted to support the protesters with both money and marchers. Union members are joining the closing bell march today.
The national union, which represents 200,000 transit workers in 22 states., has given "Occupy Wall Street" its official endorsement.
John Samuelsen, Local 100's president, said higher taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers would help reduce some of the unemployment New Yorkers have suffered in the last few years. "The Wall Street protests are bringing attention to the great injustice that the wealthiest New Yorkers have received a tax break while working families in New York are suffering," he said.
From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12029/labor_movement_rolls_into_wall_street_occupation/
Labor Movement Rolls Into Wall Street Occupation
By Michelle Chen
Friday Sep 30, 2011
Friday Sep 30, 2011
The steel and concrete of Lower Manhattan comes alive every day during rush hour, when gray suits pulse through subway tunnels and the city's arteries get choked with street vendors, construction workers and other folks hustling to make a living. Now that a bunch of rabble-rousers have occupied the neighborhood, the workers who form Gotham's backbone are starting to reclaim their turf as well.
It may be too early to draw parallels between the Occupy Wall Street protests at Zuccotti Park (aka Liberty Plaza) and their antecedents in Tahrir Square and Madison. But the movements suggest a general trajectory of grassroots organizing: a spark of protest led by younger activists, followed by the support of labor organizations, bringing up the rear and then moving to the fore.
By Wednesday, the Village Voice reported, the historically militant Transport Workers Union had voted to back, and provide food and services to, the Occupy Wall Street movement. In a video recorded during an evening protest, TWU Local 100 member Christine Williams declared, "The people have finally woke up. And we're here and we're staying and we're not going anywhere."
TWU spokesperson Jim Gannon told the Voice: " A motion was brought up to endorse the protests' goals; I don't know why it took us so long to do it." Better late than never, the union says it now plans to amass on the afternoon of October 5 and march to Zuccotti Park.
Other labor-oriented solidarity actions have been undertaken by professors at the City University of New York affiliated with the Professional Staff Congress union (of which this author is also a member). Their group, Solidarity with OWS, is organizing a demonstration against police abuse this Friday afternoon. (Other notable lefty academic allies include Frances Fox Piven, Christian Parenti, and Stanley Aronowitz.)
According to Crain's New York Business, local unions are collaborating with community-based groups such as Make the Road New York, Coalition for the Homeless and Community Voices Heard -- all organizations that are in daily contact with the struggles of the city's poor and working-class.
Continue reading at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12029/labor_movement_rolls_into_wall_street_occupation/