**For Details on Events: www.americawantstowork.org **
From coast to coast, Americans are turning out today to hold over 100 rallies protesting sequestration, cuts hurting working families, federal employees, seniors and children across the country. Across-the-board sequestration cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years went into effect March 1st and will cost 750,000 jobs nationwide while cutting funding for critical family supporting programs.
At these events, which will take place outside federal agencies and lawmakers’ offices, the public will hear directly from the countless working Americans impacted by the sequester cuts. For example, in Albuquerque, New Mexico workers will share stories of how the sequester is impacting their communities and local economy, while working Nebraskans will call out big banks, oil companies and the very rich for not paying their fair share and demand that Congress end sequestration now.
“Our message is very clear: sequestration has got to go,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “In many towns and cities, the federal government is one of the largest employers – if not the largest employer – and is a major economic driver. Sequestration will force more than a million federal workers to take pay cuts of between 20 and 40 percent between now and the end of September. Less money in their pockets means less money to spend locally on food, clothing and other goods and services.”
“Republican hostage-takers are demanding devastating budget cuts that slash more jobs and funding for the very programs working families need to get back on their feet,” said AFL-CIO President Trumka. “Republicans continue manufacturing crises to get their way, but we cannot afford to give in to their ransom demands and risk harming our still fragile economy. Working people across the country have sacrificed enough in the form of lost jobs and furloughed pay. It’s time for Congress to demand that corporations and the richest 2% pay their fair share. Congress created the sequester, and they can make it go away.”
AFSCME members and activists organized “Sequester Speak Outs” in 8 cities to show how the real impact of the sequester is hitting those communities, and how Paul Ryan’s recently released budget makes permanent the sequester cuts and further hurts working families by forcing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and social security.
“These sequester cuts are unconscionable. Our economy is just starting to recover, and these cuts are hurting middle class and working families by slashing critical investments in education, job training, and public safety,” Fair Share Managing Director Cassandra McKee said. "Congress is making a choice to burden the middle class rather than asking for a penny more from the biggest corporations. By closing corporate tax loopholes, we could make sure corporations pay their fair share and avoid cutting kids from early education or taking cops off the beat."
"The American people are with us. We must fix our rigged tax code so that wealthy Americans and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes – not lavish them with even bigger tax cuts as the House budget would do. Nearly every leading economist agrees we cannot solve our budget problems through budget cuts alone; we need a lot more revenue. At least $1 trillion can be raised by closing tax loopholes that only serve the richest 2 percent of Americans and big corporations like GE and Verizon, which get away with paying nothing in federal income taxes,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness.
This National Day of Action joins the resources of AFGE; AFSCME; AFL-CIO, including state federations and central labor councils; Fair Share; Americans for Tax Fairness; and the Alliance for Retired Americans. The goal is to demonstrate to lawmakers and citizens that there are real consequences to the massive budget cuts called for under sequestration. In addition to the direct cuts in service delivery, furloughing more than a million workers across the country will have a trickle-down effect on local businesses.
For a list of events visit: www.americawantstowork.org