AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Record Wall Street Bonusus

WA Final Notice imageStatement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

on Record Wall Street Bonuses

January 19, 2010

“Hard-working Americans will not be ATMs for Wall Street”

Just a year ago, Wall Street banks pleaded for taxpayers to bail them out to save us all from financial disaster.  We did.  So now that banks and securities firms are on their feet again, what’s their response?  A record $145 billion in executive bonuses for 2009—a year when more than four million Americans lost their jobs, largely because of the actions of these very institutions.  That is simply unacceptable.

Hard-working Americans will not be ATMs for Wall Street.  Today the AFL-CIO demands that Wall Street stop bankrupting America.

We support President Obama’s proposed tax on the largest financial institutions to recoup the cost of their bailout program, and we join labor unions worldwide in seeking a tax on securities transactions to curb financial speculation. Financial companies must not be allowed to go back to business as usual—or worse. We urge the President and Congress to make financial re-regulation a top priority:

  • Create a new consumer financial protection agency.
  • Regulate the shadow capital markets, including hedge funds, private equity and over-the-counter derivatives.
  • Reform corporate governance and executive pay.
  • Create a systemic risk regulator that is accountable to the public.

The AFL-CIO, and its community affiliate Working America are organizing working American families to oppose outrageous Wall Street pay packages. Working America is kicking off a campaign calling on lawmakers to end Wall Street bonuses and start creating jobs.

We must protect Americans who play by the rules, help small businesses, prevent future bailouts and job losses and lay the foundation for a financial system that promotes stability and long-term economic growth for our nation and for all.