Open letter to Austin unions

Open Letter to Austin Unions:

We, the undersigned, are union activists in Austin who have been watching the protests taking place in New York City (under the heading “Occupy Wall Street”) with much interest and enthusiasm.  They represent the feelings of ordinary Americans who are not only being left out of the economy but who are being robbed of their futures by the Wall Street bailout.

Starting on Thursday, October 6, 2011, activists in Austin will be starting a similar action called “Occupy Austin.”  The current plan is to assemble in front of Austin City Hall and show our discontent at the way the leaders of this state and this nation have wrecked the economy and helped the rich get richer.

We are appealing to you to support this action.  We think that this nonviolent demonstration is part of a process that began in Tunisia, and spread through Egypt, Greece, and Madison earlier this year and represents the feelings of millions of people throughout the world that the priorities of the people at the top no longer represent them.

Earlier this month, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 joined the Occupy Wall Street protest and posted this on their website:

“The Transport Workers Union Local 100 applauds the courage of the young people on Wall Street who are dramatically demonstrating for what our position has been for some time: the shared sacrifice preached by government officials looks awfully like a one-way street. Workers and ordinary citizens are putting up all the sacrifice, and the financiers who imploded our economy are getting away scot-free, increasing their holdings and bonuses.

Young people face a bleak future with high unemployment, and minimum wage jobs. Public sector workers face Mayors and Governors who demand massive wage and benefits givebacks or face thousands of layoffs. That’s not bargaining. That’s blackmail.

One out of six Americans lives in poverty today, and the richest one percent control more wealth than at any time since the Gilded Age of the 1920’s.

The TWU Local 100 Executive Board is united in our determination that this state of affairs is dangerous for America and destructive to its citizenry. We support the Wall Street protesters and their goal to reduce inequality and support every American’s right to a decent job, health care, and retirement security.”

We encourage all unions in Austin to do the same with Occupy Austin: pass resolutions in support, encourage members to attend, and make contributions of resources if you can.

If you have questions (or would like someone to speak to your local) please feel free to contact us at labor@occupyaustin.org.

In solidarity,

Workers Defense Project

Snehal Shingavi, Texas State Employees Union, CWA local 6186

Mike Corwin, Texas State Employees Union, CWA local 6186

Will Wise, Texas State Employees Union, CWA local 6186

Ben Brenneman, IBEW 520

Emily Hersh, Education Austin

Julien Devereux, Texas State Employees Union/Communications Workers of America, Local 6186

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