North Texas Jobs with Justice joined with the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans and most of the union retiree leaders in North Texas to conduct a speakout on December 2nd against cuts in unemployment benefits and proposals to cut retiree benefits. Cuts in retiree benefits would just make unemployment much worse. In fact, the AFL-CIO had estimated that new proposals from the so-called "Committee for Fiscal Responsibility" would cause another 4,000,000 job losses! Many of the 50 people at the meeting had already called Congress that week, and more calls were made after the meeting. They were gratified on December 3 when they learned that the committee's proposals had been voted down before going to the Congress.
Communications Workers of America Retired Members Council 6290 President Larry Laznovsky opened the meeting and called for introductions. Leaders of his own union from Tarrant and Dallas Counties were joined by retiree leaders from the Steelworkers, Teachers, and Auto Workers. Jobs with Justice organizer Gene Lantz, opened the discussion. He said that the American people were not going to be fooled by the continuation of "voodoo economics." "We are being told that poor people can be made happy if they give money to rich people. They've been saying that for 30 years," he said. He introduced Dr. Joerg Rieger, who had written a book with that same theme. It is called "No Rising Tide" because President Reagan used to say that "A rising tide lifts all boats." More recently, people have realized that the Reagan/Bush tide only lifted the yachts, while it submerged ordinary peoples' rowboats and canoes!
CWA leader Jim Rivers went over the cutback proposal in detail. He also summarized a much better deficit-reducing proposal by Senator Jan Schakowsky, a dissenting member of the “Fiscal Responsibility Committee.” Rosemarie Rieger said that younger people must follow the lead of the retiree activists.
Comments came from CWA leaders of both Dallas and Tarrant County, Steelworkers, Teachers, and Autoworkers. Everyone remarked on the alarming extent of the crisis and the need to get more people actively involved in fighting back. The activities around Dr Martin Luther King's birthday, January 15, would make a good time to get more people on the streets, as they already are in Europe over these same issues!
Jobs with Justice will make plans at its second-Wednesday meeting, 7 PM on December 8th, at 2218 E Main in Grand Prairie.