Stop the Corporate Austerity Drive that is Pushing Us into Poverty

Statement issued by public workers unions at November 17 rally at CAYMC

This country is not broke. The top tiers of our nation continue to grow more obscenely wealthy as the gap between the rich, and the poor, working class and even middle-class grows wider each year. The banks and corporations are draining the people like a gang of vampires, intent on lowering our living standards and expectations for decent futures. The richest Americans are concentrating the nations’ wealth and forcing austerity on the rest of us. Draw the line now!

After failing Detroiters as mayor, Dave Bing is now openly campaigning for Republican Governor Rick Snyder to appoint him as the Emergency Manager (Dictator) of the city. He wants this power so he can carry out the drastic down-sizing, down-grading, degrading and racist changes that big business requires from Detroit, including cutting off gas, light and services to huge swaths of the city! 

On November 4th, Republican Federal Judge Sean Cox issued an order which was supposed to stop the Detroit Wastewater Plant from polluting the river. Instead, his order cripples Detroit Water & Sewerage Department unions’ ability to represent their members, attacks seniority rights and voids Detroit residents’ legal right to vote on the privatization or selling of the DWSD’s assets. Judge Cox’s order threatens all unions in the public and private sectors with similar attacks, and negates the democratic rights of residents everywhere.

After illegally laying off public lighting repair workers, Bing and the City Council are paying DTE to repair the lights at a vastly inflated labor costs. The city is appealing a judge’s ruling to reinstate the workers.

 After forcing contract concessions on Detroit City workers in 2009-10, Mayor Bing is now insisting on more give-backs, including: a 10% pay cut (to replace furloughs, so he can layoff more workers). He also wants a 300% increase in health insurance pay check deductions for most workers, and dramatically higher out-of-pocket costs. The bleeding of Detroit City workers and the cut-back of services to Detroiters must stop now.

Bus service in Detroit and the surrounding area is constantly being reduced and bus drivers are being assaulted. After cutting the number of bus mechanics, Bing then falsely accused them of “slowing down.” And management still refuses to provide mechanics with the parts necessary to repair the buses.

 Wayne County officials have been exposed as corrupt paid puppets of big business, pocketing payoffs while forcing “austerity measures” on County workers which have drastically reduced their living standards and cut social services to county residents.

Years of undemocratic state control of Detroit Public Schools has led to more debt, less public schools, more profit-motivated charter schools, poorer education and attacks on school unions. Much of the school support services have been privatized and workers forced to reapply for their own jobs! The appointed DPS Emergency Manager is continuing his job of destroying public education while receiving open payoffs from corporations.  

November 17 Rally Sponsored by AFSCME Locals 101 (Wayne County Road Commission), 207 (DWSD), 345 (DPS Support Staff) & 1659 (Wayne County), Teamsters Local 214, Amalgamated Transit Union Division 26, Peoples Water Board. .

For information on upcoming activities against the cutbacks, call 313-965-1601, 313-995-5691. AFSCME Local 207’s website is

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