Federal employees in Philadelphia plan rally to protest sequestration

March 20th National Day of Protest highlights need to end across-the-board budget cuts

PHILADELPHIA, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Federal employees will rally on 5th and Market Streets at Independence National Historical Park on Wednesday, March 20, to protest the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.

The event is one of about 100 rallies taking place across the country on March 20 as part of a mass demonstration organized by the American Federation of Government Employees. Events are taking place outside federal agencies and lawmakers' offices to highlight the impact of sequestration on everyday Americans, our local and national economy, and on the valuable work performed by federal employees at military bases, Social Security offices, federal prisons and thousands of other locations.

"Our message is very clear: sequestration has got to go," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. "If federal employees are furloughed without pay, if offices and plants are shut down, if vacancies aren't filled because of these across-the-board budget cuts, then federal employees won't be able to do the work that the American public expects them to do."

AFGE is organizing this National Day of Protest with help from the AFL-CIO, including state federations and central labor councils; Americans for Tax Fairness; and the Alliance for Retired Americans. The goal is to demonstrate to lawmakers and citizens that there are real consequences to the massive budget cuts called for under sequestration. In addition to the direct cuts in service delivery, furloughing more than a million workers across the country will have a trickle-down effect on local businesses.

"Federal employees are hard-working Americans just like everyone else, and forcing them to take pay cuts of between 20 and 40 percent will have a direct impact on our local economy," said James P. Flynn, president of AFGE Local 2032, which represents regional employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Less money in their pockets means less money to spend locally on food, clothing and other goods and services."

Here are details regarding the March 20 event:

Time: Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 20

Location: Southwest corner of Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets, opposite the Jewish History Museum and diagonal from the Independence National Historical Park Visitors Center

Participants: NPS Independence Park Local 2058 President Dave Fitzpatrick, FEMA Region 3 Local 304 President Cheryl Weiner, US Mint Local 1023 President Barry Nickson, Housing and Urban Development Local 2032 President James Flynn, Labor Department Local 644 President Jim Wyrauch, Social Security Administration Local 2006 President Beverly Wilmer, Veterans Affairs Department Local 1793 President Stephanie Starks

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees


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