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Know Your Rights
Source: United Healthcare Workers East
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

1199 Joins Community Groups, Unions to Launch Strong Economy for All Coalition

1199, together with New York community groups [including Make the Road New York] and other unions launched the Strong Economy for All Coalition on March 8 to press for policies to benefit working, middle-class and low income New Yorkers, including retaining the state’s “Millionaires Tax,” job creation, fair taxation, better wages, emergency homeless services, effective government action and strong consumer protections in home foreclosures, financial services and healthcare.

The group includes Coalition for the Homeless, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, Citizen Action, Municipal Labor Committee, NYS AFL-CIO, SEIU32BJ, 1199SEIU, CWA, UFT and NYSUT.

“Working New Yorkers across the state are still feeling the deep impact of the recession,” said 1199SEIU President George Gresham. Yet Wall Street and the wealthiest New Yorkers have benefited from a rebound in the stock market financed by the federal taxpayer bailout. Extending the millionaire’s tax makes fiscal sense by bringing in revenue and is the right thing to do. Unemployment remains high and the middle-class is facing layoffs and cuts to vital public services to balance the state budget. This is about shared sacrifice.”

The Coalition will fight to keep the “Millionaire’s Tax” in this year’s state budget to protect programs for low-income children and seniors, schools, police, firefighters and homeless services. The Coalition will continue work after the budget on a broad-ranging effort to rebuild the middle class and rebalance the New York economy.

“With shelters at the breaking point and emergency homeless services on the chopping block, this is not the time to be giving millionaires another tax break,” said Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director Coalition for the Homeless. “The billions that this giveaway to the rich will cost New York will mean even more cuts to the services that every working family depends on. That is not shared sacrifice.”

Denis Hughes, President of the New York State AFL-CIO said, “It is imperative that we plan and implement a long term economic development strategy that invests in the future of our state. While creating good paying jobs would be a welcome first step, we should be focusing on providing working men and women with the opportunity for long term careers, that will provide a measure of economic stability and security for workers and their families.”

The coalition plans to continue the fight against income disparity by working to win better wages and benefits for low-income workers, stop record levels of bank foreclosures against New York’s families, push for legislation to hold Wall Street accountable for losses to pension funds due to fraud and reduce record levels of homelessness and poverty.

“New York is now the income disparity capital of the country, and the gap will continue to grow if the budget is balanced at the expense of working and middle class New Yorkers,” said Michael Mulgrew, United Federation of Teachers President. “The wealthy have not been asked to sacrifice at all and the last thing they need is another tax break.”

Hector Figueroa, Secretary-Treasurer of 32BJ, said, “Balancing the budget on the backs of working people undermines the middle class and widens the dangerous income gap between the very rich and everyone else. It is incumbent on our state government to balance spending cuts with more revenue so that hard working New Yorkers are not left without jobs or jobs that don’t support their families.

For the original article, please click here.