USW Calls for Resolution of Fundamental Causes of Financial Crisis as $700 Billion Package Aims to Stabilize Credit Market

CONTACT: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444

PITTSBURGH, - "Drastic Changes Necessary" says Gerard. The greed, irresponsible policies and deregulation politics of George W. Bush and Wall Street caused the current financial crisis and rising unemployment, United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard said in a formal statement issued today.

It is a failed philosophy shared by John McCain, who for years prided himself as a deregulator. It is a philosophy he would continue to promote if elected president," said Gerard. "These practices not only required a $700 billion bail out, but leave us stuck in the middle of an economic mess of historic proportions."

Citing declining home prices and eight years of stagnant wages as fundamental causes of the crisis, Gerard calls for a new philosophy that is not beholden to free markets, deregulation and so-called free trade. Replacing the status quo with an economic program that restores the balance of power between workers and business, and curbs corporate excesses will help to rebuild the middle class. In addition, replacing unfettered so-called free trade with a new trade agenda that respects international labor, human rights and the environment is essential to stop the off-shoring of American jobs, the race-to-the-bottom in wages and global warming.

Gerard believes that Senator Obama has the vision to revitalize our economy and return prosperity to the middle class. Two factors will be essential: restoring value-added manufacturing to create real economic wealth and reforming our health care system to relieve families and businesses of crushing costs. Jobs will be created by crafting a new trade agenda and by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure - our roads, schools and bridges.

"We need to renovate our outdated electricity grid and build new broadband lines to connect all of America," says Gerard. "And we need to create the jobs of the future by transforming our energy economy, tapping our natural gas reserves, investing in clean coal, and finding ways to safely harness nuclear power.

"We must also invest in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power, solar power and the next generation of biofuels, investments that will lead to new industries and millions of new jobs that pay well and can't be offshored."

The USW represents more than 1.2 million active and retired members in a wide variety of industries in North America.

For entire statement, please go to: http://assets.usw.org/News/GeneralNews/leoeconomyletter.pdf

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