Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thousands of union workers march across Brooklyn Bridge to protest proposed NYC budget cuts

Thousands of New York City firefighters and supporters march over the Brooklyn Bridge and rally in City Hall Park to protest Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to close 20 fire companies across New York City.
BY Nicholas Rizzi

Thousands of union workers marched over the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday to rally against the city's proposed budget cuts.

"We're sick and tired of the assault on working men and women," said Denis Hughes, president of the 2.5-million-member New York State AFL-CIO.

Organizers said the "March for the Middle Class" drew between 15,000 and 20,000 people, from plumbers and electricians to tile layers and teachers.

"The middle class is who built this city and built this nation," said Gary LaBarbera, president of the New York City Building and Construction Trades Council. "We're going to stand up for the middle class and the American dream."

"If we don't stand together then they'll pick us apart," said Raymond Kitson, 47, a Queens native living in New Jersey and an organizer for the Local 3 electricians union.

Mayor Bloomberg's planned cuts would close 20 fire houses and lay off more than 4,000 teachers.

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