Saturday, February 28, 2009

Call for "First Friday" Actions, To Begin April 3, 2009


Organize Local Press Conferences and Demonstrations to Protest Growing Unemployment, and Devastating Impacts on Workers and Communities

We, the undersigned, call for regular local press conferences and demonstrations on the First Friday of each month, to 1) demand decent, living wage jobs for everyone who wants to work; 2) ensure there is adequate income and support for all unemployed, underemployed and underpaid workers; and 3) call attention to priority public needs that can be addressed through new programs of public and private job creation.

Across the U.S., unemployment and underemployment are rising at a dramatic rate. In February, 2009 alone, more than 650 thousand jobs were lost, the highest rate of monthly job loss since 1949, bringing the national unemployment rate to 8.1%. For minority teens, rates are already at Depression levels.

11.4 million people are now officially unemployed, and an additional 13.6 are classified as “hidden unemployed,” either because they can’t find full-time work, or have given up looking because they are too discourage.

This means there now 9 job seekers for every available job opening. In addition, many employed workers do not even earn a living wage. In 2007, 17.6 million workers – 16.2% of the fulltime workforce, worked full-time, year-round, yet earned less than the official poverty level for a family of four.

Behind these statistics lies a grim, lethal reality. Unemployment, underemployment and inadequate wages devastate the people who are denied adequate work and a decent living, and disrupts family and community life. The chronic shortage of decent jobs contributes directly to increased marital and family breakup, increased evictions and homelessness, rising crime and community abandonment.

Rising unemployment not only causes hardships for job losers but reduces tax revenues by billions of dollars—dollars that could finance vital social programs and create more jobs. Unemployment literally throws away billions of dollars of potential national output—schools and housing not built, child and elder care not provided.

As the economy continues in free fall, workers and representatives of community, labor and religious organizations must organize and speak out, and call attention to the growing unemployment crisis.

Why the First Friday?

On the first Friday of each month the Labor Dept. releases the previous month's unemployment numbers, and the issue of unemployment and joblessness gets regular attention from the news media. This is an excellent time to call attention to rising job loss and its devastating human and financial consequences.

Beginning on April 3, 2009, the National Jobs for All Coalition urges activist groups and unemployed workers to hold news conferences, vigils, pickets at unemployment offices, and to take other creative action to demand jobs and an effective safety net to protect the unemployed and others hurt by this economic crisis.

The National Jobs For All Coalition is calling for Drive for Decent Work -- a package of additional federal bills to improve our society and create millions of needed jobs. The federal economic stimulus bill is a good start, but much more needs to be done to stem the employment crisis.

The U.S. has a huge backlog of needs for fixing our physical infrastructure and increasing public services such as education, health care, and child care. We propose to link the movement for good jobs for all to grassroots movements to meet unmet needs for clean energy, better schools and housing, mass transportation, education and other public services.

The Drive for Decent Work is our blueprint for job creation, but we welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please check our web sites at and for the most current update.

We are also asking groups to consider organizing town meetings or forums on the economic crisis and its impact in their communities. The country needs a lively public debate on the directions we might take to deal with the recession/depression. We face both a difficult time and a time of great opportunity to build a grassroots movement for change.

These actions, modest though they may be at the outset, will require work to coordinate and then build upon. We believe that these actions -- and the community dialogue and activism they generate – can become a driving force for a much more powerful movement for jobs and economic justice.

Through the First Friday movement, we will work to build up a national network of community, labor, religious and civic organizations concerned about rising unemployment and lasting solutions to the economic crisis. We will also work to gather organizational endorsements and target key cities and towns for endorsing resolutions supporting the Drive for Decent Work, and calling for passage of additional job creation and economic stimulus measures.

For Jobs & Peace.

Logan Martinez, Outreach Coordinator
937-275-7259 / cell 937-609-3701
Email: loganmartinez2u [at]


Endorse the call to action by emailing Logan at: loganmartinez2u [at]

Word version of call to action available at:
HTML Version on NJFAC site:

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