Labor group launches campaign pushing financial reform

The organizing arm of the AFL-CIO announced Monday that it is organizing a campaign to push financial reform legislation.

Working America will deliver messages and hold rallies in support of the effort to come before the Senate Banking Committee this week. 

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“Working people are livid with big banks and looking for ways to express that anger for the destruction of the Main Street economy,” said Karen Nussbaum, executive director of Working America. “We’re delivering the message to Wall Street that we are not their ATMs, and we’ll no longer have any role in bailing them out while we struggle to keep our heads above water.”

The group made its announcement just hours before Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) is set to unveil his plan to reform the nation's financial sector.

Dodd announced last week he would broke off direct talks with Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) on the terms of the bill and would bring it before his panel to be marked up.

As part of the campaign titled "I am not your ATM", Working America says it will deliver 70,00 fliers asking people to participate, send 140,000 faxes to Congress and large financial institutions, and hold tele-town halls expected to reach 100,000 people. The group says it will also hold rallies in 12 cities.

The group wants a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) and a "financial responsibility fee" levied on banks.

President Barack Obama backs an independent (CFPA) but the plan encountered opposition in the Senate and from financial industry lobbyists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.