It's time for jobs creation
After the summit's conclusion today, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer and CtW Chair Anna Burger commented on the need for much greater shared responsibility and action:
"Right now, the top six banks are getting ready to pay out $150 billion in compensation and bonuses. We bailed them out, and they have done nothing to help put Americans back to work and get our economy back on track. They continue to foreclose on families, force businesses to shut their doors, refuse to aid state and local governments, all the while jacking up bank fees and credit card interest rates.
"Wall Street and big banks should make good on their debt to society by paying a speculators tax on their obscene profits and transactions."
Yesterday, Burger called for an ambitious and multi-faceted jobs plan for the 21st century to immediately start putting paychecks back into the hands of America's workers. SEIU's comprehensive jobs creation plan includes:
- Extending the safety net, including increasing unemployment insurance and expanding work sharing programs to provide unemployment benefits for reduced hours of work.
- Using TARP funds to increase credit for small businesses.
- Expanding federal fiscal relief to states and local governments to save an anticipated 900,000 jobs and the vital services in our communities.
- A public jobs program that targets the fastest-growing sectors of human services such as child care, in-home services for the elderly and disabled, and other services our communities need. This will create jobs in the public and private sectors and ensure our communities are healthy, educated, and well cared for.
- Leveraging private investment with public dollars through a Green Bank that will promote energy-efficiency and renewables as a major source of job creation, in both the short and the long term. The jobs we create today will lay the groundwork for the industries of tomorrow.
Expanding the home retrofitting programs begun under the Recovery Act will create good jobs in construction and related industries. Including commercial and public buildings would increase the scope of the program, create high skilled jobs, and protect the planet by reducing demand for energy. By acting now, America can lead the way on green technology.
- Investments in our aging and failing infrastructure by rebuilding our schools, roads and bridges--putting millions to work. An Infrastructure Bank can foster public/private partnerships in developing regional and large scale projects critical for a 21st century economy.
- Planning for the passage of healthcare reform, which will add tens of millions of Americans to the healthcare rolls and create more than a million new and different jobs in healthcare and related industries. We need to ensure our present healthcare workforce is prepared and we need innovative recruitment and training programs to meet this new workforce demand.
- Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act to protect workers' freedom to form unions and allow them to share in the prosperity of a new 21st century economy.
- Expanded worker training programs on a national scale so that young people are prepared for new industries and workers can the learn skills necessary to compete for new jobs. It's time to coordinate across agency lines and provide flexible lifelong training for the new economy.