The Missouri AFL-CIO is proud to stand in solidarity with jobless workers, seniors, students and workers from all walks of life, from across the state that have joined those all over America coming together to demand accountability from our elected leaders. In Kansas City and in St. Louis, in Columbia and St. Joseph, Missourians have taken to the streets in protest of the devastating misplaced priorities that have rewarded the corporate CEOs and Wall Street bankers that wrecked our economy and left millions of Americans to suffer while politicians slash what's left of our social safety net.
We support the protesters as they demand politicians work for us, not the CEOs that have been shipping our jobs overseas and the big banks that have been foreclosing on family homes while hoarding resources and keeping our construction workers on the bench. Our state has a world-class skilled workforce, a workforce diverse enough to build bridges and information systems, to innovate in biotech and in green building. Skilled trades workers that could be rebuilding crumbling infrastructure instead face the same bleak job market new college graduates are facing. Many protesting on the streets of Missouri are recent graduates unable to find jobs but still burdened with tremendous student loan debt.
Instead of investing in our public structures like higher education or funding badly needed infrastructure projects, like funding repairs on our roads and bridges, too many of our elected leaders are using the jobs crisis as an excuse to attack working Missourians. They want to take away workers rights while continuing to reward the corporations that pack up our factories and ship them out of America. Across our state, workers are coming together to say enough is enough. It is long past time for politicians in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C. to listen to their constituents here in Missouri, not the shadowy interest groups and corporate CEOs that care nothing for working families.
Wall Street and corporate America must invest here, in Missouri and across America. Big corporations and Wall Street banks have been holding on to too many resources they should be using to create jobs and get our economy back on track. Corporations need to invest some of the $2 trillion of the cash they have on hand to create good jobs and rebuild our communities. And big banks should be making credit more accessible to small businesses and take immediate action to stop foreclosures and address the crisis of millions of underwater mortgages. Helping keep families in their homes would stop the destructive downward spiral of our housing markets and get our economy back on track.
Commentary by Hugh McVey, Missouri AFL-CIO president