Labor Leaders Endorse ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement

Published on September 29th, 2011 | by

Power to the People

Under attack from politicians who view their right to collective bargaining as a threat to the corporate system,  five major unions and worker groups — the American Postal Workers Union, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Postal Mailhandlers Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the National Association of Postal Supervisors — recently organized rallies in every congressional district to show their disapproval of proposed Republican cuts to the US Postal Service.

Challenging mainstream critics who say the action is nothing more than a gathering of freaks and anarchists, New Yorkers demonstrating with Occupy Wall Street joined the postal workers marching from Liberty Plaza to Varick St. to show their continued support for victims of the recession.

Today, unions began to return the favor.

This morning, OpEdNews reported that the Transit Workers Union, representing over 200,000 members in 22 states is now supporting Occupy Wall Street.

Jim Gannon spokesperson for the TWU says, “Yes, our Executive Board endorsed it, but we haven’t [made] any official statements on it, and only individual members have spent time there so far.”

Tweets and other messages from TWU members in NYC indicate that the union plans on joining the Closing Bell March at 4:00 on Friday, October 1st.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has also shown its support of 43 union art handlers, members of Teamsters Local 814, who were told by Sotheby’s that “all new hires have no collective bargaining rights, no health benefits, and no job security.” Sotheby’s made $690 million in gross profit last year, but is apparently opposed to the idea of paying art handlers a working wage.

Engaging disenfranchised workers is a key move for the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has now expanded to over 50 cities across the U.S. and multiple continents.

The “American Dream promised” that we if we worked hard, dignity and comfort were ours to claim. But the reality is that corporations have bought and sold the “American Dream” in exchange for outrageous profits and political amnesty for their acts of violence against society and the environment.

You don’t have to be a freak or a socialist to be pissed off. Slowly but surely, middle class America will realize that this is their revolution too.

Image Credit: Flickr – edenpictures


About the Author

Beth believes many societal problems can be solved through sharing or other alternatives to the corporate system. I'm interested in exploring the growing collaborative consumption movement and how sharing is changing the way we work and play. See what I'm up to by following me on Twitter as @ecosphericblog.