Tens of Thousands of Middle Class Workers March over Brooklyn Bridge

Workers from All Sectors Join Together in Opposition to Attacks on Middle Class

NEW YORK, NY (06/15/2011)(readMedia)-- Today, tens of thousands of workers from across New York City joined together to march over the Brooklyn Bridge in opposition to attacks on middle class workers and their values.

Working men and women from the public sector, private sector and building trades marched in solidarity to say "an attack on one is an attack on all" and "enough is enough", in response to repeated and seemingly coordinated attacks on middle class workers.

To date, middle class workers have borne the brunt of the solutions to the dire economic problems facing our city and state. Workers from all sectors of our economy have been asked repeatedly to sacrifice. Examples of issues and actions where working men and women have been asked to sacrifice include: Diminishment of Defined Benefit Pensions; Proposed Layoffs; Budget cuts that would diminish the safety, security and quality of life of all New Yorkers; Cuts in education that would negatively impact our children; Outsourcing and contracting out of jobs; and numerous concessions by construction workers in their industry.

New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes stated, "Today's march is a clear indication that working men and women are tired of having to carry the entire burden of rescuing our city and state from the economic crisis. Instead of continued threats of budget cuts, diminished pensions, and layoffs we should be considering ways to create jobs and making our middle class more financially secure, not less. Job retention and creation, retirement security and sustaining a strong quality of life should be the goal of all involved in the public discourse.

Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York City Building and Construction Trades Council said, "Unions have long been the bedrock of the middle class in New York City and throughout the United States. Today and indeed every day, we are united with our brothers and sisters in the union movement as we continue fighting for policies and values which support middle and working class families," he added.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, "New York City is the income disparity capital of the world, where the richest 90,000 households earn $10,000 a day while half of all city households earn under $30,000 a year. We want a country, state and city that works for everyone, not just those at the top."

"Today is Justice for Janitors Day – a reminder to all workers that when we stand together and fight for a better future, we can win," said Kevin Doyle, 32BJ Executive Vice President. "Together, by fighting for good jobs, we can restore the middle class, repair our economy and reclaim the American Dream."

Edgar Romney, Secretary-Treasurer of Workers United stated, "In the last few years, we have seen the disparity between the rich and poor grow, while our country's middle class is fast disappearing. This is wrong. We are standing together today to say, no more attacks on unions, and no more attacks on the middle class".