WERC Forms National Steering Committee To Promote Workers’ Recovery Plan

By ALAN BENJAMIN   (list updated 5/3/09)

The deepening U.S. financial crisis has spread to all sectors of the economy, triggering a worldwide recession that is fast becoming a Depression.
For working people this has meant the loss of millions of jobs, the foreclosure of homes, and the decimation of public education, healthcare and social services. The situation for millions is catastrophic.

This is why more than 500 labor and community activists, including trade union and political leaders, sent an Open Letter to President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, calling on him to support and promote the 10-point platform of demands of the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign (WERC).

These 10 demands express the immediate needs and aspirations of working people and all the oppressed, particularly Black and Latinos, who have been the hardest hit by the crisis. The demands call for, among other things, the launching of a massive job-creation program, single-payer healthcare, the enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act, a moratorium on home foreclosures, an end to the U.S. wars and war spending, an end to the ICE raids, and a progressive tax on the rich as a way to pay for all the programs and public services that need funding.

The Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign is moving ahead with the formation of local WERC committees in many cities across the country. The campaign is also promoting broadly based teach-ins to get out widely its 10-point platform, and, most important, to organize people to take action in defense of their interests and demands.

On Feb. 23, the San Francisco Labor Council agreed to co-sponsor a teach-in/organizing meeting jointly with the WERC and the South Bay Labor Council. This teach-in/organizing meeting for a united mass action will be held in San Francisco on Saturday, May 9. [See "Hold the Date" leaflet below.]

In recent weeks, a National Steering Committee for WERC has been formed to promote the campaign. Following is the current list of unionists and activists who have agreed to serve on this committee:

Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Gulf Coast Reconstruction activist

Alan Benjamin, Editor, The Organizer; Exec. Bd., San Francisco Labor Council

Mike Carano, Progressive Democrats of America

Colia Clark, Veteran, Civil Rights Movement

Donna Dewitt*, President, South Carolina AFL-CIO

Pat Gowens, National organizer, Welfare Warriors

Bill Leumer, Workers Action; IBT Local 853 (ret.)

Luis Magaña, Coordinator, Organization of Farmworkers of California (OTAC)

Cynthia McKinney, Former Member of Congress, 2009 Green Party presidential candidate

Jack Rasmus, Economist, Professor at St. Mary’s College

Al Rojas, Coordinator, Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior

Marc Rich, Representative on WERC, United Teachers of Los Angeles

Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star mother, antiwar activist

Mark Vorpahl*, SEIU Local 49, Portland, OR

Nancy Wohlforth*, Co-Pres., Pride at Work/AFL-CIO, Vice Pres., California Federation of Labor

Clarence Thomas*, ILWU, Local 10

(* titles and organizations for identification purposes only; this is still a list in formation)

For more information, please visit the WERC website at www.wercampaign.org.


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