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Besides Cars and Banks...How about a "People's Bailout?

December 8, 2008

New York, NY — As the nation faces its worst job losses in 15 years, advocates for workers in New York say it's time for a "People's Bailout."

Krista Hanson, a field organizer with Jobs with Justice, says the Wall Street banker bailout doesn't appear to be "trickling down," as evidenced by the 533,000 American workers who lost their jobs last month. It's time Congress went to bat, she says, for working people.

"People want, this time around, a bailout that impacts workers, people who are feeling the crisis really directly. It's time the government took action to help people keep their jobs, and keep their homes."

President Bush contends the Wall Street bailout is showing signs of working, with the credit freeze beginning to thaw. Hanson says additional efforts are needed, though, including investments in infrastructure and green energy jobs.

On Sunday, the labor group Domestic Workers United held a vigil for 25,000 New York workers who lost jobs or had their work hours severely reduced in the past three months. Another Jobs with Justice field organizer, Laura McSpedon, points out that many of these workers were employed by people with jobs on Wall Street.

"And they're exactly the kind of people for whom we need a bailout plan; a plan that's going to bring money into the real economy, to support workers who are trying to organize for better wages."

Actions are planned across the nation this week, to call Congressional attention to the need to do more to keep people on their jobs, and to push for at least a temporary halt on home foreclosures.

Michael Clifford/Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY