Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jobs and 'The State of the Union'

The year 2012 will be pivotal in the fight for jobs and the direction our country takes on progressive ideas. Will the GOP, under the influence of the Tea Party, continue to chip away at our social safety net and workers rights? Not if we stand up and be heard - through our unions, community groups, Occupy, in the voting booth and wherever else we can. Even though job creation is better under Obama than it was under Bush, we still have a huge fight ahead of us. The good news is, the wind is at our backs and workers are getting active all around the country to make this a banner year!
A 'Jobs State of the Union' Speech
Tuesday night President Obama gave a State of the Union address that was a jobs speech. At the heart of his address were important concrete steps aimed at restoring jobs and opportunity. The  speech framed an industrial policy for our country. It outlined big steps towards revitalizing manufacturing and creating new  green energy and manufacturing sectors. The President keyed in on the need to repair  our crumbling infrastructure and build modern transportation and energy  systems, putting millions back to work. It included important educational and job training initiatives, including making college and advanced training more accessible for low and middle income students.
What the Unemployed are Currently Facing
Working people know that the Great Recession has devastated our country - all the while the 1% profit from it. Teens are seeing the highest unemployment rate since statistics have been kept. More than one in five veterans are coming back from wars overseas and not able to find work. And though we see signs of a recovery in several areas, it has not been helping the poor very much. Long-term unemployment has visited upon many millions of workers - so much so that a documentary series, “F__ked: The United States of Unemployment,” has been made about their plight.
Action for the Unemployed
Congress narrowly averted cutting off millions of Americans from unemployment insurance when it passed a stopgap two-month extension just before the holidays. But that extension is set to expire at the end of February, so millions of unemployed workers are again at risk of losing their federal unemployment insurance - unless Congress acts to fully renew the program through 2012.
In solidarity,
Scott Marshall
Labor Chair, CPUSA
Source: e-letter from CPUSA

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