United Steelworkers announce support for ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest
The United Steelworkers, North America’s largest industrial union, announced on Friday that it supported the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” protest that began in lower Manhattan and has slowly spread to other cities across the United States.
The protesters have pledged to occupy Wall Street until something is done about corporate greed and corporate influence on the U.S. government. They have been camped out in New York’s old Liberty Plaza since September 17.
“The United Steelworkers union stands in solidarity with and strongly supports Occupy Wall Street,” Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers, said in a statement.
“The brave men and women, many of them young people without jobs, who have been demonstrating around-the-clock for nearly two weeks in New York City are speaking out for the many in our world. We are fed up with the corporate greed, corruption and arrogance that have inflicted pain on far too many for far too long.”
United Steelworkers has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.
The announcement comes after a number of labor unions and liberal groups said hey would throw their weight behind the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations. The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 have said they will participate in the protest.
The Working Families Party, MoveOn.org, Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education, Community Voices Heard, United New York and Strong Economy For All also plan to support the demonstration.
TWU Local 100 president John Samuelson appeared on Current TV’s Countdown and explained that his union was making common cause with the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters because they are, “singing the same song and fighting the same battle that our union has fought for the last eighteen months.”
Many have criticized the movement for not having any clear purpose or goals, but Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald responded that most of those critiques were ludicrous.
“Does anyone really not know what the basic message is of this protest: that Wall Street is oozing corruption and criminality and its unrestrained political power — in the form of crony capitalism and ownership of political institutions — is destroying financial security for everyone else?” he wrote on Wednesday.