Media Center

Nov 8

Transit Union redeploys activists to prevent Lame Duck Congress' attempts to sell out working Americans

No to tax cuts for the rich; No to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Transportation 

Media Contact: David Roscow, 202-537-1645 x 254


Washington, DC - Putting the coming lame duck Congress on notice, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is deploying activists who were so effective in mobilizing transit riders to vote on Election Day for a campaign to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and prevent cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and transportation.

“There will be non-returning members of Congress who have nothing to lose in agreeing to a so-called ‘grand bargain’ that would give even more to the wealthy at the expense of working Americans who have already born the brunt of the economic recession,” warns ATU International President Larry Hanley. “But Americans sent a message on Tuesday by voting for an economy that does not pay for tax cuts to the wealthy with benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

The ATU will be launching the campaign in conjunction with the AFL-CIO and other unions at 83 rallies, press conferences and other events across the country, which will warn both parties not to sell out working Americans during the lame duck session.

“This is not a time to let up,” said Hanley. “We’ve just completed the most extensive and successful Get-Out-The-Vote campaign in our history to get President Obama and pro-transit, pro-worker candidates elected. Our activist network is poised and ready to take on issues like these on a moment’s notice."

During the last several months over 10,000 ATU members and transit advocates reached out to more than one million passengers at bus stops and transit centers across the country.

“We won’t allow the lame duck Congress to sacrifice crucial services and programs to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. It's time for the richest Americans to pay their fair share,” Hanley continued.

During the lame duck session ATU’s political ground troops will be fighting to prevent Congress from cutting mass transit funding; to persuade Congress to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest 2% of Americans; and block Congress from cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
The ATU will be watching and reporting on what individual members of Congress do with regard to these issues in the next eight weeks and plans to hold them accountable.”


About the ATU

The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1892, the ATU today is comprised of over 190,000 members in 264 local unions spread across 44 states and nine provinces, including 3,000 workers at Greyhound Lines, Inc. Composed of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel and other transit and municipal employees, the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests of its hard-working members.