Union chief leads protest against bankers

Oct. 27, 2009 at 8:04 PM

CHICAGO, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka rallied thousands of people in downtown Chicago Tuesday to protest U.S. banks' practices and urge tougher regulations.

With the American Bankers Association holding its annual convention in the city, Trumka lambasted the bankers, accusing them of failing American families and businesses.

"You've turned the American economy into your own private casino, gambling away our financial future with our money, driving us to the brink of a second Great Depression, then sticking out your hand for taxpayers to bail you out," Trumka said in prepared remarks released by the union. "And bankers, let me tell you this: We didn't put you back in business so you can pay billions in bonuses to the suits; those bonuses have to go.

"And we are here to support President Obama's call for tough new regulations to force these bankers out of their Wild West mentality, out of their arrogance, out of their contempt for the public they're supposed to serve."

The union chief called on people to contact their members of Congress to demand creation of a consumer financial protection agency, reform the Fed or create another agency to stop system risk, regulate so-called shadow markets and reform corporate governance and compensation for top executives.

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