California Working Families Mourn the Loss of Congressman Tom Lantos: A Defender of Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and a True Friend of Working People
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“The working people of California have lost a great friend today with the passing of Congressman Tom Lantos. Rarely do we see a person of such courage and principle emerge in the public realm, prepared to fight for what is right in defense of those who have no voice. He will be sorely missed.
“Without his longstanding efforts to raise the minimum wage nationally, millions of working families would not have been able to improve their lives and offer their children a better future. Without his sponsorship of critical legislation to ensure the safety of workers, many would have been injured needlessly. And without his focused attention on correcting employer abuse, many hard-working men and women would have continued to live in the shadows of fear.
“Congressman Lantos loved his adopted country, and was unafraid to criticize its shortcomings when needed. He came out in strong opposition of unfair trade deals, and spoke out forcefully against the negative effects of NAFTA and other unilateral ‘free-trade’ agreements. He exhorted us all to place more importance on human lives than commerce, and cautioned us against excess.
“Through his work and the example of his life, he humbled and inspired us. We are honored to have worked by his side.”