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Union president: We and ‘Occupy Wall Street’ are ‘singing the same song’

Transport Workers Union president John Samuelson appeared Friday on Current TV’s Countdown and explained to guest host David Shuster that his union is 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.”

“Working families in New York State are definitely getting shafted while the wealthiest folks in New York State are getting a tax break,” Samuelson continued. “If you make a million dollars a years, you’re bringing home an extra $408 a week under the eliminated millionaires’ tax. We have a lot of folks in New York City that aren’t even making $408 a week to take care of their families.”

Samuelson indicated that there were only a few hundred of his members participating in the protest on Friday but that “they do feel a sense of solidarity.” He expects the number to grow now that the executive board has endorsed it and sees the unions as being able to make a particular contribution through their ability to articulate a message about the growing disparity of wealth in the United States.

“There’s a sense of desparation,” he commented, “that the folks in government just don’t get.”

This video is from Current TV’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann September 30, 2011.

Written by | Muriel Kane

Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane

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