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Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIo has responded to President Obama's pay freeze.

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Pay Freeze for Federal Workers
November 29, 2010

Today’s announcement of a two-year pay freeze for federal workers is bad for the middle class, bad for the economy and bad for business.

No one is served by our government participating in a "race to the bottom" in wages. We need to invest in creating jobs, not undermining the ones we have. The President talked about the need for shared sacrifice, but there’s nothing shared about Wall Street and CEOs making record profits and bonuses while working people bear the brunt. It is time to get our nation back on track, but we should not do so by placing an even greater burden on the middle class.


In providing support for the Republican world view that workers are the cause of the deficit, President Obama is turning his back on the core principles of the Democratic Party.  Unions, which saved the asses of many Democrats in the last election, are pissed.  

This change and hope is harmful.  

The Washington Post headline reads: Obama bows to GOP on federal pay

My only hope is that the President stands firm on tax cuts for the wealthy.  He must veto an extension.  

If he choses to cut the deficit on the backs of working people, if the Democratic Party chooses tax cuts for the rich over the needs of the middle class, then we must fight our own party.

We are not there yet, in my view, but the hopelessness feels overwhelming.  

Which Side Are You on?
Florence Reese
("an American social activist, poet, and folksong writer. Born in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee the daughter and wife of coal miners, she is best known for the song, "Which Side Are You On?" written in 1931 during a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in which her husband, Sam Reece, was an organizer.")

Come all of you good workers,
Good news to you I’ll tell,
Of how that good old union
Has come in here to dwell.

cho: Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

My daddy was a miner,
And I’m a miner’s son,
And I’ll stick with the union,
Till every battle’s won.

They say in Harlan County,
There are no neutrals there.
You’ll either be a union man,
Or a thug for J.H. Blair.

Oh, workers can you stand it?
Oh, tell me how you can.
Will you be a lousy scab,
Or will you be a man ?

Don’t scab for the bosses,
Don’t listen to their lies.
Us poor folks haven’t got a chance,
Unless we organize.

The Democratic Party must choose.

Originally posted to TomP on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 11:34 AM PST.

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