In the wake of the additional budget cuts and teacher layoffs announced on Friday, the city's unions are warming up for Thursday's rally on Wall Street by protesting House Speaker John Boehner's remarks tonight at the Economic Club of New York. Boehner, who is in town after stumping upstate for congressional candidate Jane Corwin earlier today, is expected to speak on "creating a better environment for private-sector job growth," which to the unions is code for "trying to cut funding for the regulations designed to prevent another collapse."
Thursday's rally promises to combine the forces of all the city's major public unions, including the United Federation of Teachers and 1199 SEIU. The special guest at the UFT's spring conference last week was Wisconsin state senator Jon Erpenbach, who led the state's Democratic leaders into exile in a failed attempt to prevent union-busting legislation there. While the city's government is in no position to eliminate collective bargaining, the protest will begin at City Hall before marching to Wall Street, closing the symbolic loop between business-cozy legislation and the citizens who supposedly shape it. Organizers are hoping to get more traction than they did today at the Blackstone group where they delivered a letter asking the financial behemoth to pay their "fair share" of taxes.