Ohio unionists want a march to protect Social Security

While the Republican-led government shutdown continued, two Ohio union groups, in addition to passing unanimousl resolutions to reopen the government, signed on to a national plan to march on Washington D.C. to demand passage of the ‘Strengthen Social Security Act,’ (HR 3117/S 567) and legislation to put people to work rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

The annual Ohio SOAR (Steelworker’s Organization of Active Retirees) Conference and then the Central Ohio AFL-CIO Central Labor Federation passed resolutions demanding that the AFL-CIO, working with allies, organize a “truly massive march on Washington, D.C.” in order to push for those demands.

“Retirees are sick & tired of being scapegoats for these politicians in Washington,” said Willie Moore, Ohio USW/SOAR executive board member. “Social Security recipients and pensioners have already been hit hard. Companies have stolen pensions, with help from the same folks that now say they want to ‘save’ Social Security!’ These same folks now say they want to ‘help us,’ by cutting Social Security. We didn’t cause this crisis, the wealthy did, and we’re not going to sit by and let them use it as an excuse to attack retirees again. We all need to stand up together, let we did in the old days, to win!”

Both resolutions cited a letter, from 50 Republican congressmen to House Speaker John Boehner, stating that;

“We (50 Republican congressional signers) believe that the ongoing fiscal discussions in Congress provide an opportunity to address entitlement program deficits. We urge you to address the viability of Social Security.”

As “solutions” the signers endorsed the following steps;

  • Raising the age of eligibility for Social Security.

  • Cutting the cost-of-living formula for Social Security recipients.

  • Means-testing for Social Security eligibility in the future.

  • Lowering the cap on FICA taxes paid, so that less funds would go to that program & the wealthy would pay even less into Social Security.

The union passed resolutions called for passage of ‘Strengthen Social Security Act’ (HR 3117/S 567), which would raise the cap, now set at $103,000, where individuals stop paying FICA taxes annually. This would require the wealthy to pay more of their fair share into the program and would bring billions of new funds into Social security.

“This is like thousands of other attacks on working people by these birds, only this one is a major escalation,” said Central Ohio Labor Fed President Dave Caldwell. “This just shows how out of touch with regular folks, and with reality, these nutcases really are! It’s reverse-Robin Hood! Anyone who thinks that taking from hard-hit folks on the bottom and giving it to the bloated top 1 percent is good for our economy has to be crazy! It’s time for real people to stand up to them and say ‘Enough is Enough!'”

It was agreed that the resolution calling for a march of labor & allies be sent to AFL-CIO headquarters and that others be encouraged to issue similar calls.

“I just can’t stand them,” stated Joan Fluharty, Central Ohio AFL-CIO Labor Fed Service Committee Chair! “These tea-baggers say they speak for people like us and then they shut down our government to try to force cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and take health care away from folks. I know I’m just fed up! Its time real people have to stand up and say what we stand for, and it’s not what they stand for!”

Photo: PW


Bruce Bostick
Bruce Bostick

Bruce Bostick is a retired steelworker and leader in Ohio Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees.