BY TIM O’CONNOR
The U.S. economy added no jobs in August – that’s ZERO jobs – and the nation’s unemployment rate remained at 9.1%, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data out this month. The August jobs report is the worst since September 2010.
Some 14 million workers remain unemployed, but a total of some 26 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have stopped looking for work.
American unemployed and under-employed did nothing to create this bad economic climate. They played by the rules. It was greedy Wall Street traders and banks too big to fail that helped put us here.
Along with a Congress that refuses to make sure the burden of our economy is shared between the super rich and the poor and elderly, too many middle class Americans have been put out of work.
The labor movement and its allies must be in the fight. We must be loud and vocal about the jobs crisis. The national AFL-CIO has sent out the call for union members in all 50 states to get off the sidelines and get engaged in the fight for middle class jobs.
The Central Oklahoma Labor Federation seconds President Richard Trumka’s call.
There is a war going on for the middle class. American workers didn’t start it. Trouble is, not enough people are on the street to let Congress, the state Legislature, and city governments know the their top priority must be creating good paying jobs.
I’m not talking about WalMart kind of jobs, I’m talking about jobs that working families can rely on to support themsleves.
My hope this Labor Day is that organized labor with other allies will make jobs the priority for the rest of this year and until American working families get the justice they deserve.
– The author is president of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation, AFL-CIO