North Texas Activists Demand Action on Jobs
North Texas Jobs with Justice initiated a news conference on July 2, 2010, and a broad group of progressive leaders responded -- progressive people and organizations are coming together for this fight.
This crisis is immoral
Among them were a faith leader, a community organizer, and several unionists. The Reverend Ed Middleton of First Community Church read scripture and interpreted Bible verses to show that people must become involved in the most just cause of today -- survival!
Stop the layoffs!
Christopher Head of the Steelworkers union talked about the cuts hanging over the heads of Dallas City employees. He told the assembled reporters, including three television crews, that Keynesian economics should be used to rescue workers from the ravages of unemployment, just as it was used in the last great jobs crisis.
Mickey Morris, Texas President of the National Association of Letter Carriers said that there is no reason for the post office to go through with plans to end Saturday mail service. It would cause more tens of thousands of layoffs and would diminish our ability to communicate through the mails.
Perry Forshee, who organized the previous week's "Rally for Poor People," says that all progressive groups and individuals must come together to resolve the crisis. Pete Jimenez, Vice President of UAW 848 in the Aerospace industry told the reporters, in English and Spanish, that employers are happily using the employment crisis to pressure all wages and benefits downward. A recent Pew survey revealed that more than half of all American workers acknowledge that the jobs crisis is hurting them.
Long-term unemployed activist Brad Walker literally "stole the show" when he talked about his struggles to make a living and to avoid becoming one of the millions of "discouraged workers" who cannot get a job, but are not counted as officially "unemployed" because they can't face job hunting any longer. Reporters interviewed Walker at length, long after other speakers had left.
Statistics say down is up!
The occasion was the First Friday monthly release of new unemployment figures. Even though the "official" unemployment rate had gone down two points, the Associated Press had explained that job creation had been insufficient. The only reason that the "official" rate, based not on hard data but on a telephone survey, had declined was because over 600,000 more workers had joined the "discouraged" category and thus were not considered unemployed.