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Labor unions to join Occupy Wall Street

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 5th, 2011
Catholic Online (

Multiple labor unions have endorsed the two-week old Occupy Wall Street movement and plan to join the protesters in New York on Wednesday.

NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union told reporters, "it's really simple. These young people on Wall Street are giving voice to many of the problems that working people in America have been confronting over the last several years." Hanley's union has over 20,000 members in the New York area.

He continued, "These young people are speaking for the vast majority of Americans who are frustrated by the bankers and brokers who have profited on the backs of hard-working people. While we battle it out day after day, month after month, the millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street sit by -- untouched -- and lecture us on the level of our sacrifice."

Jim Gannon, spokesman for the Transport Workers Union Local 100 told reporters that he believed the Occupy Wall Street movement which protests the social inequities in the financial system draws its inspiration from the Arab Spring revolutions in Africa and the middle east. He explained that the protest advances issues that unions typically support.

"Their goals are our goals. They brought a spotlight on issues that we believed in for quite some time now. Wall Street cause the implosion in the first place and is getting away scott-free while workers, transit workers, everybody, is forced to pay for their excesses. These young folks have brought a pretty bright spotlight; it's kind of a natural alliance."

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said that he was proud to support the demonstrators. "The way our society is now headed it does not work for 99 percent of people, so what occupy Wall Street started they kept to it and they've been able to create a national conversation that we think should have been going on for years," Mulgrew said.

It is unknown at this time how many union members will take work off Wednesday to join the protests. The demonstrators have been camping in a park in the heart of New York's financial district and they have been calling for people to flood the area for several weeks.

Occupy Wall Street is a large movement made mostly of young Americans in their 20's who experts say are feeling the full brunt of the recession. They are having a difficult time finding work, getting insurance, and generally making ends meet.

The movement shows no signs of abating and in fact, is starting to spread. Supportive demonstrations have already begun in major cities across the United States. While the group has no demands and no leadership, it appears to be very popular, and growing.

What do you think about Occupy Wall Street? Is this a movement the faithful should support, or is it liberalism run amok? Add your comments below.

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