Now is the time to build solidarity to tackle the Covid-19 aftermath. Clapping in solidarity with health care, transit, delivery, grocery and other essential services workers is important but the financial elites who run this country will only cede to our demands for adequate living conditions for all of us when they see our united steely resolve!
As retirees, we won’t accept our hard fought for benefits, earned by years of work, being taken from us. Nor should we accept seeing our children and grandchildren have their educational, health or other services slashed.
Retirees are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Most of us are sheltering in place as much as we can. Before this crisis began, working families were struggling with the high cost of living while our incomes stagnated. Too many of us often had to choose between paying rent, buying food or securing costly medications. These problems hit especially hard on minority families but can affect us all.
This crisis will pass eventually but another lurks in its wake. Income, wealth and health care inequalities will certainly be intensified by looming federal, state, city and county financial deficits. “Good government” groups are already calling for cutbacks, layoffs and pension reductions. Jobs lost in the private sector may never return.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, we will need to be in fight back mode. We should be making plans now to unite retirees and those we call retirees in training, employed and unemployed, men and women and certainly the rainbow of working families. Learning from the two unfair bailouts of the housing/financial crises over the past 20 years, we don’t want to see a repeat of Wall Street getting bailed out while we get sold out.
The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations’ primary purpose is the advancement of the common interests of present and future retirees of agencies of the City of New York. These interests include the protection and enhancements of pensions and health benefits and federal , state or municipal policies or budgets that will impact retirees including cuts to the social safety net.