Mobilize to oppose lame-duck grand bargain

Via The Stand:

(Nov. 2) — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recently warned of a debt-reduction deal called the “grand bargain” that’s being negotiated behind closed doors in Washington, D.C., and could be voted upon during the lame-duck session immediately following the election. He said this grand bargain “boils down to lower tax rates for rich people — paid for by benefit cuts for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

The Washington State Labor Council, alongside its affiliated unions and community partners, are joining the AFL-CIO in mobilizing now to urge members of Congress to oppose such a “bargain.” Thursday, Nov. 8 will be a national day of action on the issue and events are planned in Seattle and Spokane that day. In addition, a telephone town hall meeting with Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell is being planned for Monday, Nov. 12.

On Nov. 8, union members and other supporters will be urged to call their Congressional Representatives and Senators and leave messages urging against safety net benefit cuts and more tax breaks for the richest 2% of Americans. (Please download, post, and distribute this flier.) Although the toll-free number works today, you might want to wait until after the election to call. Residents in Washington’s 1st Congressional District, for example, will have to wait until after the election before the D.C. office of their new lame-duck Representative is even staffed.

Here are the details on mobilization events:

SPOKANE RALLY — On Thursday, Nov. 8 from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. (program at 8 a.m.), union members and other supporters of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will gather at Riverside and Division at the entrance to the new University District in Spokane. Labor speakers will include Spokane Regional Labor Council President Timm Ormsby as emcee and Mike Foley of UA Local 44 representing construction workers. Following the rally a delegation will be going to the office of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) to express working families’ positions on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and on extending tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans.

For more information, visit the event Facebook page or contact Mariah McKay from Washington CAN via email or by calling 509-939-0015.

W.S.L.C. LUNCHEON IN SEATTLE — On Thursday, Nov. 8 at noon, the Washington State Labor Council will host its annual post-election luncheon at Seattle’s Catholic Seafarers Center, 2330 1st Ave.  But this year, in addition to the usual raffle benefiting the Center and celebration of the beginning of the holiday season, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-9th) will be on hand to hear from a brief panel of speakers discussing the so-called grand bargain. Possible-U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene and Denny Heck also plan to attend, pending election results and the possible need to travel to Washington, D.C.

The luncheon costs $15 per person. Please RSVP to Braden Van Dragt at the Catholic Seafarers Center at 206-441-4773.

TELEPHONE TOWN HALL MEETING — On Nov. 12, Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) will participate in a telephone town hall meeting on the subject of debt-reduction negotiations and proposals. The time and call-in number/code will be announced soon. Stay tuned…

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