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Rally and report give voice to workers behind unemployment statistics
BOSTON — The figures are staggering. Unemployment is at 9.8 percent and new unemployment claims continue to increase. By one measure, real unemployment and underemployment are double the official rate. According to the Labor Department, job seekers now outnumber openings by six to one!
That’s why more than 1,000 union members, unemployed workers, students, clergy and community leaders came together for an October 1 march and rally to highlight the growing jobs crisis.
The group protested on the Boston Common, at Verizon’s New England headquarters and at the Hyatt Regency Hotel against a corporate agenda that has left far too many workers behind.
Eighty labor and community groups sponsored the march and rally. Accompanying the march was the IBEW Local 103 One Hundred and Third Drum and Bagpipe Band and the Somerville Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Marching Band.
The action also focused on how big banks have misused our tax dollars. So far, few of the hundreds of billions in taxpayer money that went to the big banks have reached Main Street.
“Economic recovery isn’t a reality until we have an economy that works for everyone…and that means an economy in which everyone works,” said Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “This march and rally is about the simple notion that good jobs are the key to a decent quality of life. We’re calling out the corporate greed that ruined the job market.”
Instead I am being let go from a job by the agency that set my passion on fire and my dreams afloat. Over 100 caseworkers and I have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Now I am living beyond my means. I am struggling to keep my apartment.
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Rand Wilson is an organizer and chief of staff at SEIU Local 888 in Boston.