For many people, unemployment numbers are abstract statistics. But for the people who are laid off, it’s a grim reality of no paycheck, no health care, skimpy unemployment benefits and a bleak job market. To put a human face behind the numbers, the IAM hosted a display of some of the 30,000 Machinists Union members from across the United States and Canada who have been laid off in the last year. The moving photos gave delegates a look at our brothers and sisters who have been thrown into the economic abyss of the recession.
“This display is a reminder of who this recession hurts most – workers who are trying to care for their families,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “These are the faces of the men and women who can’t wait two or three years, or even a few months, for the current stimulus plan to take effect. These are the men and women who need JOBS Now!”
Delegates at the AFL-CIO Convention approved resolutions that adopted key elements of the IAM’s JOBS Now! campaign to demand additional apprenticeship opportunities, investment in skills training and a second, targeted stimulus package aimed at the manufacturing, construction and transportation sectors.