Saturday, November 20, 2010

Minnesota AFL-CIO urges Walker to invest federal high speed rail money

Minnesota AFL-CIO Stands in Solidarity for Regional Rail Jobs

Citing the huge economic impact and job creation potential of high speed rail, leaders of the Minnesota AFL-CIO sent an open letter to Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker urging him to reconsider his plans to refuse $810 million federal dollars that Wisconsin had received for this project.

The section between Madison and Milwaukee would be part of a larger regional high speed rail system linking Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago. In the letter, Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter reminded Walker that refusing these funds won’t just hurt Wisconsin, but the entire Midwest.“The larger Midwest high speed rail initiative would put tens of thousands of more people back to work, and make the upper Midwest an even more lucrative place to do business. If Wisconsin says no to this section of the line, it is likely Minnesota will not see any rail dollars in the future,” he wrote.

Click here to read the full letter.

“High speed rail is critical to the economic future of this entire region, and therefore, we are especially grateful for the vocal support of the Minnesota AFL-CIO,” said Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt. “This type of action builds the strength of the entire labor movement and brings us one step closer to saving and creating family-supporting union jobs.”The Minnesota AFL-CIO has sent a strong message to Governor-elect Walker, now it is your turn to let him know how badly this region needs quality rail jobs.

Click here to sign the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO’s online petition in support of high speed rail.

You can also show your support by attending the Candlelight Vigil for Jobs this Tuesday at 5 p.m. outside of the Talgo train facility in Milwaukee.

Click here for details about the Candlelight Vigil.

“Other areas of the country are clamoring to get their hands on the $810 million dollars in federal funding designated for our rail line,” observes Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale. California, New York, Illinois and North Carolina have all said they would take the money of Governor elect Scott Walker follows through on his promise to reject the investment. “The Midwestern labor movement is adamantly urging Governor-elect Walker to reconsider before it is too late."

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