Union Members Tell McCain: Don’t Tax Our Benefits!
Yesterday, John McCain made a speech intended to address the economic crisis, one that offered almost nothing for struggling working families, but quite a lot for the corporate elites who have reaped the rewards from the Bush years.
What McCain left out of his economic proposals was any real solution to the problems facing America’s working families. All the Republican presidential candidate has offered so far are billions in tax cuts for the very wealthiest, along with a health care plan that would actually tax workers’ benefits. As the Wall Street Journal noted today, McCain has not only switched positions to support Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, he’s gone even further.
Before his speech in Pittsburgh yesterday, McCain held yet another high-priced fundraiser. Outside the Omni William Penn Hotel, more than 75 union members protested McCain-Bush policies that favor corporations and the extremely wealthy. The action was organized with the help of the Allegheny County Labor Council and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation.
Later in the day, union members came out around the country to respond to McCain’s proposals and ask him for a better deal. They met at post offices to alert taxpayers to the real consequences of McCain’s health care proposal, which could raise taxes and decrease coverage.
In Pittsburgh, Pastor Ken Love, a 25-year member of UAW Local 544, spoke about the need for working people to fight for an economy that works for everyone.
It’s time for working people to step up and vote for change in November and to vote for politicians who care about workers and our economic well-being, not just the well-being of the corporations and wealthy.
Workers, toting signs that read “It’s Time to Turn Around America,” formed a picket line outside the Omni hotel entrance and chanted, “McSame as Bush” and “Taxing health care benefits is not a health care plan.”
Patrick McMahon, president of ATU Local 85 in Pittsburgh, also addressed the crowd, saying:
One thing is clear: Working families need a leader they can count on when it comes to kitchen table issues like trade, good jobs, health care and retirement security. So far, Senator John McCain has shown that he is not that candidate. His abysmal voting record toward working families’ issues proves that. And I implore you to make every effort, large and small, to ensure his defeat in November.
Meanwhile, in one of several actions at post offices, 40 union members gathered in Philadelphia at 30th and Market streets. They were joined by community members who came out to show their support for working families.
Union members also turned out in Iowa City, where they talked about McCain’s plans to offer billions in tax cuts to insurance companies and oil companies while taxing workers’ health care. Ohio saw a strong turnout, with 35 union members distributing leaflets at a post office in Cincinnati and 46 getting the message out in Columbus.
In Minnesota, more than 40 union members gathered around a St. Paul post office to spread the word, and nearly 20 union members came out across the river in Minneapolis. In Minnesota, where a key Senate race is also on the minds of union members, more than 3 million workers and their family members receive employer-based health benefits.
Tax day events were also held April 15 in Waterloo, Des Moines and the Quad Cities in Iowa, as well as Detroit and Columbia, S.C.
Union members say McCain’s economic agenda proves he’s more in line with the Bush administration than with the real needs of workers. Wherever he goes this year, McCain will hear from those workers, who want him to support a health care reform that doesn’t tax our benefits and an economic policy that doesn’t funnel more taxpayer money to the ultra-rich.
Tags: McCain Revealed , Working Families Vote , John McCain , Economy , Health Care , Pennsylvania , Ohio , Minnesota , Iowa , State Federations
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