WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President today issued the following statement in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement:
“As the largest union representing federal and D.C. government workers, we stand in solidarity with the men and women participating in the Occupy Wall Street campaign. Americans across the country are fed up with a political and economic system that continues to benefit global corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans at the expense of everyone else. Millions of citizens have lost their jobs, their homes and their life’s savings. They live in despair and fear about how their families will survive.
“The middle-class men and women we represent know firsthand what it’s like to sacrifice while millionaires and billionaires avoid paying their fair share. They are VA nurses, border patrol agents, ship builders and aircraft mechanics, Social Security representatives and meat inspectors. Federal employees gave up their pay raises for two years straight – to the tune of $60 billion – and now are being asked to pay more for retirement and health care. Yet Congress won’t even vote on a plan to end corporate welfare and require the wealthiest 1 percent to share the burden that everyone else has been shouldering.
“We have been calling on the nation’s leaders to tackle this jobs crisis since the beginning. Our members see the damage being done to Americans as a result of the massive cuts in vital federal programs and services. We need a fair economy and tax system that works for everyone. We are heartened to see the movement for corporate accountability and economic justice taking root on Wall Street and across the country. We are encouraging our members to participate with their voices in this struggle for a better America.”