Thursday, April 16, 2015

Populism conference 2015 in DC

If I lived there I'd go to this. An excerpt of the blurb from Campaign for America's Future:

"It’s a convergence of several related mobilizations:

● Labor leaders and community activists have been pushing for more government spending on the nation’s transportation, water and energy systems, and other public assets. But a central demand is that the public dollars spent on these projects pay a living wage, with preferences given to contractors that offer good wages, benefits and either have or would allow union representation. Organizations like Good Jobs Nation have been pressing President Obama to sign a “good jobs” executive order, and parallel efforts have been mounted in several states. Without a movement pressing this issue, it is more lively that upcoming infrastructure bills, such as a transportation reauthorization bill that Congress is expected to debate later this spring, will include language that would drive wages down and give at least tacit cover to contractors to suppress worker organizing.

● As some organizations focus on government spending to create jobs, the “Fed Up” campaign at the Center for Popular Democracy has rallied attention to the policies of the Federal Reserve, which has the power to shut down an economic recovery before it reaches the millions of workers who have yet to benefit from it. Last month the organization held demonstrations in eight cities calling on the Fed to honor its full employment mandate and not take action to slow the economy before the economy has a chance to absorb the people still looking for work. They especially want the Fed to ensure that segments of the population who have been left behind – such as African Americans, who have an unemployment rate that remains around 10 percent, twice that of white Americans – have a chance to catch up. The campaign has been setting up meetings with regional Fed presidents to send the message directly.

● The activism against fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership is another pillar of this worker movement. Creating jobs for all with fair wages and worker bargaining power is almost impossible when multinational corporations can shift jobs to low-wage countries with few regulations to protect either workers or the environment. Wednesday was also the beginning of a “week of action” against fast track that was declared by a broad spectrum of organizations, coinciding with an expected full court press in Congress to introduce and pass a fast track bill. The actions will climax in Washington at the end of the Populism2015 conference on Monday with an 11:30 a.m. march from the AFL-CIO headquarters to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative near the White House."

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