Check the Big Banks

From the AFL-CIO

Over the past several weeks, Republican leadership in Congress and the Trump administration have weakened our financial security by loosening rules that protect our economy from Wall Street bankers, opening the door for banks to discriminate and making it easier for Wall Street bankers to gamble with the savings of hardworking families.

America’s working families know that holding big banks accountable is essential to winning new economic rules that put Main Street first.

The right financial regulatory system will put Wall Street to work for working people, not the other way around.

The AFL-CIO is building a powerful and independent political movement to win commonsense financial rules that will keep big banks in check.

Break up big banks. Too few banks control too much of America’s financial system, which is risky because if they fail, they will bring down all of us.

Uphold the power of worker capital. Instead of making it harder for union members’ pension plans to have a say on corporate behavior, we should empower them to hold corporations accountable.

End racial discrimination. We want to make sure lenders don’t prey on people of color, the elderly or the poor by imposing unjustifiable fees, higher rates and other extra costs.

Democrats and Republicans alike are on notice. It’s time for new economic rules, so working families and our communities can thrive.

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Posted In: From AFL-CIO, Union Matters

Union Matters

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work