Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Press Release


CONTACT: Steve Smith (510) 326-4644

California Labor Urges Congress to Stand Up for Good Jobs, Reject Fast Track Legislation for Trade Agreements

Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski

“Democracy is dependent upon transparency and open, public debate. Yet, with today’s introduction of legislation that would put potentially devastating trade deals on the fast track to approval without proper congressional oversight or public input, Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Hatch (R-UT) are playing a dangerous game with livelihoods of working people across California and the country. Previous fast-tracked trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and normalizing trade relations with China have cost California 650,000 jobs. Not just any jobs, but good, family supporting jobs that sustain our state’s middle class.


“There’s currently no reason to believe the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement would be any different from previous trade deals that have ripped hundreds of thousands of California workers from the middle class. The TPP, a huge trade deal that covers 12 countries and 40 percent of the world’s GDP, is being negotiated secretly by former corporate lobbyists with little information available to the public about the impact on jobs and our economy. That’s unacceptable.


“Protecting middle-class jobs should be a top priority for every member of Congress. We simply can’t afford another bad trade deal that further erodes good jobs and exacerbates record income inequality. If the TPP really is different than previous deals like NAFTA that have led to enormous trade deficits and lost jobs, then there should be nothing to fear from a transparent, deliberate and open process. We strongly urge Senators Feinstein and Boxer and every member of Congress in California to reject fast track legislation that keeps the public in the dark on a trade deal that has the potential to undercut our middle class, raise drug prices for seniors, hinder innovation and allow for global corporations and other countries to game the system to America’s disadvantage.”


Labor Leader & Pioneer LGBT Activist Howard Wallace Passes Away

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

It is with great sadness that I let you know that labor leader and pioneer LGBT activist Howard Wallace has passed away. Howard’s long time friend and SEIU colleague Kathy Lipscomb informed me that he passed away today “free of pain and comfortable.”

Howard, as we all know, was active in healthcare organizing, the anti-war movement and civil rights battles his entire adult life. He was a mentor to many, an inspiration to all, and an agitator for justice forever. We will all miss Howard Wallace.

The Labor Council will announce memorial services when they are finalized, along with a more complete summary of his exemplary life, but we wanted all of you to be aware of the loss of our friend.

As Kathy Lipscomb stated in her email to me: “Howard Wallace – Presente!”

Important Update from the 19th District Assembly Race

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Conservative businessman and former Goldman Sachs staffer Michael Breyer has launched a vicious and negative self funded campaign.

We need to fight back.

Breyer is running a campaign based on two dangerous pillars. First, he says he wants a return to “traditional” San Francisco values – attacking retirement security, attacking important programs that protect our environment, and attacking proven efforts to protect the health of children.

Second, he’s running an absolutely slanderous campaign funded in large part with his own checkbook.

Don’t let conservative businessman Michael Breyer get away with it. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Spread the word to members just how important it is to support Democrat Phil Ting for Assembly. Ting is endorsed by labor, the Democratic Party, Attorney General Kamala Harris, the Chronicle, Examiner, Sun Reporter and virtually every single other group and leader to take a stand in this race.
  2. Link your website right now to, so members can find the truth about this dangerous businessman.
  3. Help Phil Ting fight back by making the most generous contribution you can afford up to the $3,900 limit. Please mail checks to 1267 20th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122 – or make a contribution online at

Thank you. Phil Ting has spent his career in solidarity with working people. This is our chance to show our solidarity with him as he fights back against right-wing attacks.

Governor Vetoes Historic Domestic Worker Bill

Monday, October 1st, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2012

Sacramento – The Governor vetoed landmark Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, AB 889 (Tom Ammiano).

The second measure of its kind in the country, AB 889 would have finally ended the 74 year exclusion of domestic workers from basic labor protections by extending rights such as overtime pay and meal and rest breaks to the childcare providers, housecleaners, and caregivers who care for California’s families and homes.

“It is a huge disappointment that Governor Brown chose not to recognize the people caring for California’s families and homes as real workers,” said Sylvia Lopez a worker with the California Domestic Workers Coalition, sponsor of the bill. “For decades we have tirelessly cared for California’s homes, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities without the protection of basic rights. Tonight, Governor Brown has done a tremendous disservice to thousands of domestic workers, their families, and the people they care for.”

Sponsored by the California Domestic Worker Coalition, the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights garnered broad support from over 100 labor, women’s, faith and community groups including National Domestic Worker Alliance, NAACP, and AFL-CIO and received prominent endorsements from Dolores Huerta, The New York Times, and “Parks and Rec” celebrity Amy Poehler.  Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez was joint author for the bill.

“Governor Brown missed an opportunity to prove himself as a leader in civil rights by ensuring that the people caring for California’s children, people with disabilities and the elderly no longer have to go without proper sleep or meals,” Ammiano said. “His veto sets back labor rights in California supported by hundreds of thousands of California’s Latinos, domestic workers, and community leaders.  As long as these exclusions continue, so will our pursuit for justice.”

“Here in San Francisco our local coalition of labor and community is actually legislating and implementing labor standards.  So next year we will be even more motivated to get the Bill of Rights passed and signed,” added Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO.


Whitman Seeks to Block High-Speed Rail Construction and Other Job Creation Projects

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

In July, billionaire CEO and gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman came out in opposition to the voter-approved plan to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system in California. Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said that Whitman opposes the project because the state can’t “afford” high-speed rail.

But with one in eight Californians out of work, the truth is we can’t afford NOT to build the high-speed rail. The construction and operation of the rail system is projected to create 160,000 construction jobs and as many as 450,000 permanent jobs statewide, including in the economically depressed Central Valley. Additionally, high-speed rail would make California businesses more competitive, by speeding the movement of goods and people throughout the state, enabling businesses to attract workers, and propelling California tourism.

Whitman’s claim that California can’t afford high-speed rail – like most other statements from her campaign – is completely disingenuous. In fact, high-speed rail is already paid for – voters approved Proposition 1A in 2008, which allocated $9.95 billion in bonds to the high-speed rail project. Whitman also failed to take into account the more than $2 billion the state has received from the federal government to build the rail. If Whitman has her way and the project is stalled, California will owe billions back to the federal government – and that’s something we certainly can’t afford.

California’s high-speed rail project is precisely the kind of spark our state’s economy needs. Not only would it create good-paying jobs up and down the state, it has the potential to bring manufacturing back to California, while simultaneously lessening highway congestion, reducing pollution and lowering our dependence on fossil fuels. That’s why a broad coalition of business, labor, local governments and environmentalists – as well as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown — all support the construction of high-speed rail in California for its economic, environmental, business and revenue benefits.

Brown has been advocating for more environmentally friendly transportation initiatives for the better part of three decades, and is a staunch advocate for high-speed rail and other green infrastructure projects. He recognizes that investing in infrastructure directly helps California’s working families by putting people to work, protecting our environment, improving our day-to-day lives and attracting more new businesses to California.

By comparison, Whitman’s opposition to high-speed rail and other infrastructure projects shows how dangerously out of touch she is with the economic realities facing so many California families. She continues to talk about fiscal austerity, while at the same time touting huge tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, which would bleed the state of billions of dollars every year. Whitman seems perfectly content with giving her millionaire friends tax breaks, but when it comes to creating jobs for Californians, she’s staunchly opposed.

That sort of philosophy is not surprising coming from a career corporate executive with close ties to Wall Street. Job slashing to benefit the corporate elite has become the norm in Whitman’s Wall Street culture. But it’s an incredibly dangerous and damaging proposition for California. Learn more about Whitman’s jobs plan.

» powered by radicalDESIGNS