Labor Leaders Call on the Republican Congressmembers to Stop Holding Our Economy Hostage to push Their Agenda

Rocester and Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation

A Government Shutdown:


Rochester, NY: Labor leaders from the Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO are calling on Congressmembers in their districts to reject the House Republicans’ plan to tie the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to any continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown.

President of the Rochester Central Labor Council, Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO and American Postal Workers Union Local 215, Jim Bertolone expressed concern over the political game being played that affects peoples’ lives in our communties. He pointed out that a government shut-down is a not only a harmful tactic, but  a counter-productive and ineffective one that undermines the legislative process and reminds us of the history of opposition from extreme conservatism that would have crippled our country and way of life to this day: “Hard-lined conservatives opposed the National Labor Relations Act, they were against ending child labor and the 8-hour workday; conservatives opposed Social Security, the minimum wage and Medicare. Extreme conservatives opposed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. These laws, passed by Congress and upheld by the courts have been bodified in the legislative process over time. The laws were not nullified by shutting down our government or defaulting on the full faith an credit of America, blowing up our economy.”

“There is no excuse that could ever be justified for the government to shut down,” says Derrick F. Thomas, National Vice President of the northeast region of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO a Union representing 600,000 federal civilian employees nationwide. “Government workers provide essential benefits for the American public. They provide health care to our nation’s veterans, process Social Security payments for our senior citizens, protect our borders, assist families and small businesses, run our national parks, and support our national defense.
Their jobs and benefits should not be pitted against the implementation of the Administration’s Affordable health Care Act or the debt ceiling. Yet, Republican leaders in Washington, D.C. are determined to make federal workers the scapegoat of their battle against the Administration. We think this is unfair to employees as well as the American public.” 

Jim Bertolone cites an excerpt from Article 14, Section 4, of our Constitution,

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,…… shall not be questioned.”

He continues,

“If terrorists were threatening to shut down our government or destroy our economy, we would send our military in to stop them. The extremists must cease their extreme tactics or resign from Congress.”

  1. Repeal job-killing sequestration cuts that drag down our economy.
  2. Protect Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare from dangerous benefit cuts.
  3. Eliminate all tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.


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