Unions to Occupy Wall Street: We’re in

What great news. I’m feeling more hopeful about our country these days:

Some of the biggest players in organized labor are actively involved in planning for Wednesday’s demonstration, either directly or through coalitions that they are a part of. The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local 100 are all expected to participate. The Working Families Party is helping to organize the protest and MoveOn.org is expected to mobilize its extensive online regional networks to drum up support for the effort.

“We’re getting involved because the crisis was caused by the excesses of Wall Street and the consequences have fallen hardest on workers,” a spokesman for TWU Local 100 said.

Community groups like Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education and Community Voices Heard are also organizing for Wednesday’s action, and the labor/community coalitions United New York and Strong Economy For All are pitching in as well.

Signs and chants will likely call for an extension of the so-called millionaires’ tax and a roll-back of state budget cuts. They will also likely show support for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s position that a proposed settlement between banks and attorneys general over troubled mortgage pools is too lenient.

Organizers of the march said they aren’t looking to take control of the Occupy Wall Street protest, which has captured headlines since it began nearly two weeks ago, but add to it.

“We’re not trying to grab the steering wheel or to control it,” said Michael Kink, executive director of the Strong Economy For All coalition. “We’re looking to find common cause and support the effort. It’s the right fight at the right time and we want to be part of it.”