On Labor Day, California Workers Look to a Brighter Future
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“Labor Day is the one day a year set aside to recognize and appreciate the hard-working men and women of our country. But here in California, workers are struggling to keep the American Dream alive in today’s dismal economic environment.
“Unemployment in our state has skyrocketed to 7.3 percent, compared to 5.4 percent just one year ago. The cost of food and gas continue to rise. Predatory lending has resulted in a six-fold increase in home foreclosures in California between 2006 and 2007. And the state budget deficit is eating away at our jobs, wages and essential public programs at an alarming rate.
“But on this Labor Day, let us be reminded of the power we have as working people when we unite for change. Last week marked the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Dr. King’s inspiring words brought a message of hope from coast to coast, and ushered in a new era for workers’ rights, justice and equality.
“Now, we are on the brink of another new era, as we unite to turn around America and secure the middle class. We may be losing our jobs, our wages, and our homes, but we are not losing hope. It’s time for a fair economy that works for working families, and we’re more motivated than ever to make sure our voice is heard.
“As Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘In spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.’”