Thursday, January 15, 2009

Worker's Emergency Recovery Campaign to Issue 10-Point Platform

P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.
Tel. (415) 641-8616; fax: (415) 626-1217.
Dear Sisters and Brothers:


On Monday, January 18, we are sending out publicly the 10-point platform of the Workers' Emergency Recovery Campaign (WERC) to the media; to all our email lists; to a compiled list of top labor, Black, Latino, community and church organizations, and to the Obama transition team, and others. We would very much want to have your name on the list of the endorsers of this platform and campaign.

Over the past week, we have received dozens of new endorsements in support of the 10-Point WERC platform. They include Nancy Wohlforth* (Co-Chair, Pride at Work), Cynthia McKinney (former Member of Congress and 2008 presidential candidate of the Green Party), Cindy Sheehan (Gold Star antiwar mom and 2008 independent candidate for U.S. Congress), Gene Bruskin (labor and antiwar activist), Donna Dewitt* (president, South Carolina AFL-CIO), Dennis Serrette* (CWA Political Director), Bruce Dixon and Glenn Ford of Black Agenda Report, Pat Gowens (Welfare Warriors), Nativo Lopez (Hermandad Mexicana), Mark Dudzic* (national organizer, Labor Party), Al Rojas (Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior), Jerry Gordon (veteran antiwar activist), Clarence Thomas* (Exec. Bd., ILWU Local 10), Kali Akuno (Gulf Coast Reconstruction activist), Colia Clark (veteran of the Civil Rights Movement), Larry Pinkney (Black Activist Writers Guild and The Black Commentator) -- and the list goes on and on. (* organizations and titles listed for id. only)

There is one more important endorsement that I would like to highlight -- that of the national Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) -- as it shows the gigantic potential of this campaign. All 10 points of this platform have widespread support among millions of people who voted for Barack Obama because they want real change. But winning these demands will require building an independent national campaign and an independent movement in the streets to impose them on the powers-that-be.

We aim to build united front committees of endorsers, organize forums, and work to promote marches and actions around these demands. With these endorsements, we hope to get many union local endorsements, and, hopefully, some union and organizational funding to host a national conference to further advance this effort.

At this writing we are getting close to the 500 signatories we projected at the outset of this petition-gathering campaign. [See first list of 100 endorsers below; the remaining names are still being compiled from petition boards and email endorsements.]

Can we add your name to the list of endorsers? Please let us know by Sunday, January 17, so that your name can be included in our mass mailing and posting. If yes, please fill out the coupon below so that we know how you would like to be identified. Also, please list if your organization and title should be listed for id. purposes only.

Thanks, in advance, for your support.

In Solidarity,

Alan Benjamin
The Organizer Newspaper

In recent months we have witnessed billions of dollars pumped into the financial institutions WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Reckless behavior and greed have been graced with the most extravagant rewards, allowing the rich to get even richer. After receiving their bailout, A.I.G. executives resumed their plans for a retreat at a lavish resort. Meanwhile, foreclosures have risen, unemployment has soared, and misery has spread with virtually nothing being done for the millions of workers suffering from these afflictions.

We cannot sit back and simply hope that things will get better. The financial executives have organized themselves and lobbied for bailouts. We must now do the same. We must organize ourselves and mount a campaign, insisting that government programs benefit the majority of the population first and foremost, not the super wealthy small minority.

At this historic crossroads, as we face the prospects of another Great Depression, we, the undersigned dedicate ourselves to forging the broadest unity in action among those in the labor movement, Black and Latino organizations, immigrant rights groups, and antiwar and other social justice protest movements to secure the emergency measures listed below.

We endorse these demands as necessary steps to address the pressing needs of working people and the oppressed in general so that we can all enjoy a secure and comfortable life and find relief from an economic crisis we had no part in creating. We are committed to reaching out to more workers and encouraging them to endorse our demands and join our movement, the Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign (WERC), so that we can form committees across the country, organize educational forums, and then aim at building a national conference to promote this campaign. In this way we can begin to win the majority of working people to this agenda. In solidarity we can win.

Here are 10 fundamental demands that we believe should be included in a Workers' Emergency Recovery Plan to Bail out Working People -- NOT Wall Street:

1) Put a halt to the Wall Street bailout plan. Not one more penny should be earmarked to bail out the bankers and speculators. It's time to bail out working people.

2) Enact a moratorium on all home foreclosures, utility shut-offs, evictions and rent hikes. Nationalize the mortgage industry, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

3) Enact H.R. 676 -- the universal, single-payer healthcare plan. Take the private insurance companies out of the healthcare equation. Guarantee fully funded pensions for retirees, along with healthcare and other benefits.

4) Enact the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) so that every worker can have union representation.

5) Stop the layoffs in auto and other industries across the country. Nationalize the Big 3 automakers. Re-tool the auto industry to build rapid mass transit, solar, and wind systems.

6) Stop the scapegoating of immigrant workers. Stop the ICE raids and deportations.

7) End all funding for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops home now. The war expenditures in these countries alone are estimated at $3 trillion. Redirect all war funding to meet human needs.

8) Enact a massive national reconstruction public works program (minimum expenditure needed of $1 trillion) to rebuild the nation's schools, hospitals and crumbling infrastructure and to put millions of people back to work at a union-scale wage. Provide all necessary funding for a genuine Reconstruction program in the Gulf Coast; enact the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (H.R. 4048).

9) Defend and expand the rights and economic security of those who are unable to work. Grant living-wage benefits to single parents, disabled, seniors, and the unemployed. End the arbitrary, punitive time limits, sanctions, denial of education, and forced unwaged workfare in the TANF welfare program.

10) Tax the corporations and the rich -- not working people-- to finance a workers' recovery plan. The rich currently enjoy historically high levels of wealth while being taxed at bargain-basement rates. Implement a retroactive tax on windfall revenue on the oil-energy industry, return capital income taxation to 1981 levels, and repatriate the $2 trillion from the offshore tax havens.

[ ] I endorse this statement

[ ] I would like to work on this campaign. Please contact me asap!


UNION/ORG (for id. only)




(fill out and return it to or to P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140. For more information, or to get involved, call 415-641-8616.)


INITIAL LIST OF CAMPAIGN SUPPORTERS (partial list; * org & title listed for id. only):

Nancy Wohlforth* (Co-Pres., Pride at Work/AFL-CIO, Vice Pres., California Federation of Labor)
Cindy Sheehan (Gold Star mother, antiwar activist)
Cynthia McKinney (former Member of Congress, 2009 Green Party presidential candidate)
Donna Dewitt* (President, South Carolina AFL-CIO)
Progressive Democrats of America
Nativo López (Hermandad Mexicana)
Colia Clark (veteran of the Civil Rights Movement)
Michael Eisenscher* (AFT Local 1603, OPEIU Local 3)
Mark Dudzic* (National Organizer, Labor Party)
Dennis Serrette* (Political Director, Communications Workers of America)
Bruce Dixon (Editor, Black Agenda Report)
Kali Akuno (Gulf coast reconstruction activist)
Gene Bruskin (labor and antiwar activist - Washington, D.C.)
Larry Pinkney* (Black Activist Writers Guild & The Black Commentator)
Al Rojas (Coordinator, Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior)
Alan Benjamin (Editor, The Organizer)
Glen Ford (
Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez (Institute for Multiracial Justice)
Kentucky May Day Coalition
Renée Saucedo* (La Raza Centro Legal)
Andy Griggs* (Chair, National Education Assoc., Peace & Justice Caucus; UTLA)
Howard Wallace* (Pride at Work)
Clarence Thomas* (Exec. Bd., ILWU Local 10)
Don Bechler* (Single Payer Now!)
George Hutchinson* (Pacific Green Party, former OEA member)
Mike Carano* (Progressive Democrats of America-Ohio, Teamsters' union)
Jerry Gordon* (UFCW International Rep/retired; Chair, Ohio State Labor Party)
Bill Leumer (Workers Action)
Ed Rosario (Co-Convener, OWC Continuations Committee)
Pat Gowens (Welfare Warriors)
Luis Magaña (Organización de Trabajadores Agrícolas de California)
Tim Kaminski* (UAW Local 110, former committeeman, retired)
Al Rojas (Coordinator, Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior)
Gustavo Bujanda (Raices Mexicanas)
Nancy Romer* (Professional Staff Congress, CUNY, AFT 2334)
Frank Martin del Campo* (Exec. Bd. member, S.F. Labor Council)
Mark Esters* (member, UAW-St. Louis, Missouri)
Jack Rasmus (Economist, Professor St. Mary's College)
Juan Rafael Santos* (South Central Farm Leadership Council)
Wes Brain* (Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice)
Adam Richmond (Committee to Overturn Prop 8)
James Vann* (Oakland Tenants Union)
Luis Alberto Rivera (President, PRD en el Exterior)
Jean Pauline* (SF Gray Panthers)
Akinyele Sadiq (The Troublemakers Union - band)
Hal Sutton* (UAW Local 1268 retirees chapter)
Filemon López (Radio Bilingüe)
Kristen Zehner* (AFSCME Sub Chapter 52)
C. T. Weber* (Peace and Freedom Party / California State Employees Association)
Dale Sorensen* (Task Force on the Americas)
Helen Spalding (AFSCME retiree)
David Walters* (IBEW Local 1245)
Randy Lopez* (By Any Means Necessary / Sacramento BAMN)
Jessica Sanchez (Workers' International League-S.F.)
Rodger Scott* (AFT Local 2121, retired)
Jose Luis Jaral Moreno (Comité Binacional de Derechos Humanos de los Migrantes)
Millie Phillips (Socialist Organizer)
Páramo Hernandez (Union Civica Primero de Mayo)
Steve Ongerth* (IWW, IBU SF Bay Region)
Vinnie Burrows* (AEG, SAG, AFTRA-NY)
Chris Kaihatsu* (
Dan Kaplan (Exec. Sec., AFT Local 1493)
Ann Robertson* (California Faculty Association, SFSU)
Marc Rich* (UTLA delegate, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor)
Paul Burton* (Northern Calif. Mdia Workers, CWA 39521, San Mateo Labor Council)
Allan Fisher* (AFT Local 2121)
Roger Dittman (Professor Emeritus, Physics, Cal. State Univ.-Fullerton)
Lisa North* (AFT Local 2)
James Keys* (Senior Action Network and SF Mental Health Board)
Larry Duncan* (CWA 14408, Co-Producer, Labor Beat-Chicago)
Marlena Santoyo* (Philadelphia Federation of Teachers)
Brian L. Rich* (Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights)
Laurence Shoup* (UAW 1981, retired)
Linda Ray* (SEIU Local 1021)
Dennis Gallie* (UAW Local 249)
Rodrigo Ibarra (Co-Editor, El Organizador)
Renate Bridenthal* (Prof. Staff Congress, PSC/CUNY)
Tucker Pamella Farley* (Prof. Staff Congress, PSC/CUNY)
Paul Colvin* (Communications Workers of America-ITU, retired)
Paul Lenart (IWW Organizing Committee-Reno, Nevada)
Michael Flynn* (National Lawyers Guild-Oakland)
Mary Moore* (Bohemian Grove Action Network)
Larry Lambert* (Coachella Valley MDS)
Helen Spalding* (AFSCME Local 1844, retired)
Joseph Blanc (retired physicist, Philadelphia)
Joanne Husar (filmmaker, Los Angeles)
Col. Jeffrey Segal, Esq. (Louisville, Kentucky)
Eric Blanc (youth antiwar organizer - San Francisco)
Karen Parker* (Association of Humanitarian Lawyers)
Jack Chernos* (American Federation of Musicians Local 6)
Greg Miller* (Freelancers Union - San Francisco)
Francisca Ramos-Stierle (Metta Center for Nonviolence Education)
Esther John* (AFT-Seattle)
Donald Leisman* (AFT Local 420 - St. Louis)
Brian Hill (environmental activist, Eugene, Oregon)
Aaron Schuman* (NWU/UAW 1981 - Ithaca, N.Y.)

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