On Tuesday, December 6, I traveled from Erie, Pa with fellow SEIU Healthcare Pa members to stand up and speak to our legislators for those that were not able to make the trip to Washington, D.C. Knowing that there are a number of issues that are of great concern not only for my local members, my community, and the entire country, I felt I needed to make my voice heard. With my voice, plus the thousands of other individuals who made the trip, we are going to hold Congress accountable in keeping the unemployed and working class moving forward with better jobs and pay, and the extension of unemployment benefits.
Being from Erie in the Northwest corner of the state and not having a representative from our immediate local area, our voice is not heard as much as it should be since Rep. Mike Kelly rarely holds any hours in his local office. Therefore, I made the trip to find out his stance and opinion on unemployment extensions and the wealthy paying their “FAIR SHARE.” Erie has an unemployment rate of 7.5% and I know of friends whose benefits are on the verge of running out. The Erie economy is very frail right now as there are few jobs available that are not seasonal. GE Transportation, who employs 3,200 people at their local locomotive plant, has recently started building another plant in Texas. If they would move our plant to Texas not only would Erie lose 3,200 jobs, raising the unemployment rate to over 10%, but 1,800 union jobs would also be lost.
I also wanted to hear Rep. Kelly’s stance on making individuals and corporations pay their “FAIR SHARE” of taxes. Taxing corporations on profits, getting rid of loopholes, and taxing the wealthy as a nation will help end strenuous budget cuts to education and Medicare. These cuts affect children, elderly, and each member of these elected officials’ constituents.
Working as a CNA, the cuts to Medicare is a great concern. Since most nursing homes get payments from Medicare, I have seen patient to staff ratio increase meaning that each resident gets less care than what is acceptable. The large corporation that I work for has put a wage freeze in effect until 2013. This is affecting employees in over 300 homes nationwide, of which 30 homes are in PA. If it was not for our statewide contract, it is not certain when our next raise would have been.
We need the extensions to save the unemployed, make taxes FAIR for everyone, stop the budget cuts saving our hospitals and nursing homes, but to also save our educators.
WE ARE THE 99%
I’M A VOICE OF THE 99%