Jobs with Justice and North Texas Workers Rights Board activists held a public hearing on the jobs crisis February 26 at Judge Luis Sepulveda's courtroom in Dallas. Click for video.
Three unemployed folks: Jorge Ortega, Eddie Ortega, and Katharein Magdalena explained different aspects of the crisis and how they had been impacted. Even though none of them was downhearted, they evoked a compassionate response from the religious and community leaders listening.
Reverend Gerald Britt, Jr, of Central Dallas Ministries talked about the differences in job opportunities in different parts of the city. Almost none of Dallas' economic activity targets the Southern half of town. Britt pointed out that poor workers have longer days because they have to travel north, where the work is, and return home late in the evenings.
The AFL-CIO is calling for ten million government-created jobs immediately. It is the only possible hope for economic recovery. They want March 12-26 to be weeks for public actions. As it happens, Spring Break for students begins March 12. With youth unemployment ranging over 50%, it makes sense that they would want to march or picket for jobs. Dallas AFL-CIO also wants to take action, so let's build up our coalition and get busy!
Texas AFL-CIO endorsements are on our web site. Precinct conventions take place at 7:15 PM, or immediately after the polls close, at every polling place. Resolutions can be introduced that can work their way up to the state and national political party conventions. Here are two excellent resolutions that need to be raised in YOUR precinct convention:
WHEREAS, the job market in the U.S. has deteriorated to the point where million of Americans – and nearly 1 million Texans – are out of work, with many more falling into the “underemployed” category;
WHEREAS, while the federal government averted a meltdown in the nation’s banking system through a variety of actions, including an economic stimulus program, the crisis in jobs has persisted;
WHEREAS, the need to provide jobs for all willing workers is urgent;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that delegates to the Texas Democratic Convention support a jobs plan that includes these elements: 1) a 12-month extension of unemployment insurance benefits; 2) a full commitment to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, including schools, roads and energy systems; 3) increased federal aid to state and local governments to maintain vital services; 4) a government effort to match unemployed Americans to jobs that need to be done in distressed communities across the nation; and 5) Use of remaining TARP funds to enable community banks to lend money to small- and medium-sized businesses.
WHEREAS, U.S. trade policy has failed to prevent an exodus of jobs out of the U.S., weakened our nation’s manufacturing base and facilitated a “race to the bottom” in which low wages become a major business goal;
WHEREAS, polls have shown that Americans now believe that treaties like NAFTA do not result in net creation of jobs in the U.S. and that the U.S. is falling behind China as a world power;
WHEREAS, a bipartisan core of lawmakers in Congress are co-sponsoring the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act;
WHEREAS, the TRADE Act would require a review of existing trade agreements, establish standards for future trade agreements, protect workers’ rights and help restore congressional oversight;
WHEREAS, the TRADE Act would spell out standards for labor and environmental protections, food and product safety, national security exceptions and remedies for violations;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the delegates to the Texas Democratic Convention urge passage of the TRADE Act as a way forward toward a more balanced U.S. trade policy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the delegates urge Congress to move forward on this significant legislation before considering further treaties that are written by those with a vested interest in moving U.S. jobs abroad and seeking out the lowest wage venues for manufacturing and services.
Submitted by Texas AFL-CIO