Unions Ask Obama to Bailout Detroit

Image: Unions Ask Obama to Bailout Detroit

Friday, 26 Jul 2013 03:07 PM

By Dan Weil

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Union heavyweights want the federal government to provide a bailout to Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy last week.

The executive council of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, asked for an "immediate infusion of federal assistance for Detroit" in a statement Friday, The Hill reports. And the union leaders want that aid to be matched by the state of Michigan.

The council consists of more than 50 leaders from a range of labor groups.

"Bankruptcy must not be used as a tool to impoverish city of Detroit workers or retirees," the statement said.

"City workers have already made severe concessions to keep the city afloat.They are not to blame for Detroit’s financial problems, yet they have been making sacrifices all along the way to help the city out.”

In their statement, the union leaders take out their frustration on Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the Kevyn Orr, the emergency financial manager for Detroit.

"It appears that Gov. Snyder and Kevyn Orr are pushing Detroit into bankruptcy to gut the modest benefits received by Detroit’s retired public service employees," the statement reads.

Snyder has said the city's sorry financial condition made bankruptcy unavoidable, and he has ruled out a state bailout.

President Barack Obama hasn't shown any interest in a federal bailout either and presidential spokesman Jay Carney indicated last week that no federal aid is forthcoming.

Many Republicans are vehemently opposed to a federal bailout as well. At least five Republican senators have proposed amendments to spending bills in recent days to prevent taxpayer money from being used to help Detroit or other cities during hard times, USA Today reports.

One of the five is Texas Sen. John Cornyn.

"There's no good reason why Detroit or any other American city ought to receive a taxpayer-funded bailout from Washington," he says, adding that he hopes the Obama Administration "resists any temptation to meddle in the process and play politics."

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