Press Release

Unions vs. Big Banks: Rally for tax to create jobs and fight poverty

November 2nd, 2011
by Heather Coleman

As world leaders gather this week for the G20 Summit in Cannes, France, activists around the world are calling for a Robin Hood Tax to make Wall Street pay for their role in the economic meltdown. The tax would raise much needed support to create jobs, protect public services, and fight poverty and climate change.

On Sat Oct 29, the “Occupy” movement took to the streets to support the tax, and tomorrow unions like National Nurses United, the AFL-CIO, and the United Steelworkers are taking to the streets with a related message. Their call will be focused on the position of the Obama administration, particularly Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has repeatedly objected to European efforts to put such a tax in place, even amongst a “coalition of willing” European countries.

This obstructionist position could backfire. A negligible levy on the financial sector has shown great potential to address growing inequities in the financial system and could help prevent financial crises in the future. It could even encourage some countries to move forward with the tax in spite of the administration’s position

Today, more than 34 environmental, development, and other NGOs sent a letter to the President calling on his administration to “take a bold stand against Wall Street greed and negligence and stand for accountability and economic justice by supporting European leaders’ action on a financial transaction tax.” Unions and activists in support of financial reform have been flooding the President with petitions and emails in the lead up to the G20. The chorus is rising.

If you’re in the DC area tomorrow, head out to Lafayette Square (outside the Treasury Department) at 11:30am to lend your support and join the nurses and others in their rally to Make Wall Street pay.