Wall Street traders and executives are expected to be greeted by thousands of angry protesters from the AFL-CIO after markets close Thursday.
The main issue is to remind them of their continuing responsibilities to mend the economy, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told CNBC.
“They destroyed 11 million jobs, wrecked our economy, got (federal government) bailout money and they haven’t learned a lesson,” Trumka said.
Trumka added Wall Street needs to start creating jobs, stop lobbying against financial regulation, and begin lending money to small and mid-size businesses again so they can create jobs.
Comparing the bank rescues to the auto bailouts is unfair, said Trumka. “None of the car companies put the economy on the brink of disaster.”
Trumka agreed that Main Street and Wall Street should work together to grow the economy. “We want them to be part of the solution, but they won’t,” said Trumka, who claimed the Street has spent $145 billion on wages and bonuses for themselves instead of making it available to smaller businesses.
An online component is being added to the march as a "virtual march" that allows those not in attendance to be represented by a marcher. Those who want to participate can register online, according to an e-mail sent out to supporters, and the group will print out a sticker with the registrant's name for a marcher to carry during the rally.
Stephen Lerner, the director of bank and finance campaigns for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), supports the idea that the economy should work for everyone, not just Wall Street. The SEIU will also be marching Thursday. Another rally is scheduled for Washington on May 17.