News / USA

    US Protesters Counter Austerity, Anti-Union Proposals

    Pro-union protesters rally in Washington for union rights and speak out against austerity measures, Feb. 26, 2011
    Pro-union protesters rally in Washington for union rights and speak out against austerity measures, Feb. 26, 2011

    Multimedia

    Nico Colombant

    Protests have taken place in state capitals across the United States to denounce proposed federal austerity measures as well as anti-union curbs.

    Hundreds of protesters chanted “We are united, save the dream” in Washington’s Dupont Circle as part of a countrywide pro-union protest.

    One of the protesters, Ellen Murphy, said she was worried about many state proposals by newly-elected governors which would reduce negotiation rights of public worker unions.

    "These governors want to take everything away. They just want to say, well you can be a union, but you can’t do anything. You can just wear fancy tee-shirts that say union on them but you are not going to have any rights," she said.

    One of the podium speakers, Jeff Blum, from the pro-union grassroots group U.S. Action, said protesters should seize the moment and fight for more union rights in the private sector as well.

    “Let me be loud and clear. When we have stronger unions, they will make corporations share their wealth with the people who create that wealth, their workers, and not just the bankers and the hedge fund managers and the greedy executives who loot the company and pollute the planet," he said.

    He reminded protesters that it was because of historical union efforts that most workers at the rally had the day off on a Saturday.

    The state where the anti-union proposals have garnered the most attention has been Wisconsin, where Republican Governor Scott Walker wants to allow union bargaining only on limited wage increases.

    He says the move is part of much needed spending saving measures amid soaring deficits at all levels of government. Wisconsin’s state Assembly approved his plan early Friday.

    But Democrats have prevented a vote from taking place in the state’s senate by hiding in nearby states.

    At the national level, Republicans, who control the House of Representatives following last year’s election, have approved a bill that would cut about $60 billion in federal spending. Democrats who remain in control of the U.S. Senate say they want to make cuts as well, but not as many, while 9 percent of America’s workforce remains unemployed.

    In Washington, Saturday, a side protest also took place, calling for higher taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, rather than cuts in social services.

    Stina Janssen, a community educator, was one of those distributing pamphlets.
    “It makes me really afraid when I see that so many vital and necessary public services are getting cut. Then I learned a little bit more about our budget and realized that a lot of the reasons we have such a big deficit is because of corporate tax avoidance," she said.

    President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party have until March 4 to reach a temporary or final yearly budget plan with Republicans to avoid the shutdown of some government services.

    With current spending, the U.S. national deficit is projected to rise to above $1.6 trillion this year. Republicans say government needs to become smaller and companies more competitive, while Democrats say the government needs to play a vital role as the economy continues its recovery.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora