Union response to sequester

The first response to the threat facing government workers from the ­sequester was from the American Federation of Govern­ment Employees. A large rally near the Capitol on Feb. 12, called by AFGE and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, denounced sequestration and the effects it would have on public workers just hours before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

The executive committee of the AFL-CIO issued a statement Feb. 27 that denounced the Republicans. It asserts, “The only solution is to disarm the hostage takers and allow the American people to decide for themselves — without bullying or threats or coercion or backroom deals — whether they want to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits to pay for tax breaks for Wall Street.”

The next day the American Federation of Teachers announced that it, along with AFSCME, the Service Employees union and the National Education Association, would launch a new television ad aimed at members of Congress. This will be a six-figure television campaign, with a heavy online component.

Along with ads and lobbying Congress, AFGE has finally called for a March 20 national day of action. AFGE, AFT, AFSCME, SEIU and NEA members will all be severely impacted by sequestration.