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US labor unions back Occupy Wall Street protests


Summary of story from MotherJones, October 5, 2011

Major labor unions in the United States are throwing their weight behind public protests against income inequalities and poor public education taking place in central New York.

More than fifteen public sector unions, including the United Federation of Teachers and Workers are joining the protest group ‘Occupy Wall Street’ on a march in New York City’s financial district today.

Cara Knole, a spokeswoman for United New York (UNY), a coalition of unions and community groups helping organise today’s march, said her organisation is planning a week’s worth of events to follow the demonstration.

Ms Knole said UNY decided it was time to get involved when it heard the concerns and demands of the Occupy Wall Street protestors (see WVoN coverage).

“Some of the things they’re asking for are similar to what we’re asking for,” she said. “The fight for better jobs, good wages and making corporations pay their fair share in taxes.”

The additional manpower and resources will add muscle to the protests, now in their third week, that began in downtown Manhattan and now range across the country from New York to Los Angeles.

Although, as spokeswoman Leah Gonzalez pointed out, ‘big labor. has been supporting Occupy Wall Street behind the scenes. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199, in New York, recently delivered water and clothes to Occupy Wall Street protesters, as well as enough pizza to feed 200 people.

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