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Real Economic Plans Don’t Penalize Working Families

Real Economic Plans Don't Penalize Working Families

Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski


“Governor Schwarzenegger’s new economic plan is bad politics and even worse policy. California’s working families did not create this economic crisis and they should not be forced to pay for it by giving up their unemployment benefits or their rights at work. This is exactly the sort of economically regressive proposal that voters just soundly rejected. These takeaway proposals are tone deaf to the loud and clear message Californians sent on Tuesday.

“As California faces its worst rates of unemployment in more than a decade, the
Governor’s proposal to cut benefits for unemployed workers is nothing short of shameful. These are benefits that families desperately need to pay their bills and keep their homes. This plan isn’t just unfair to families – it’s also economically unsound. Studies have shown that every dollar of unemployment insurance benefits returns $1.64 to local communities, so slashing benefits will hurt the state economy, not stimulate it.

“The proposals to take away overtime protection from workers are nothing more than pay cuts for millions of families at a time when they can least afford it. The right to a guaranteed lunch break is among the most fundamental protections for California
workers and is essential to worker health and safety. State law already provides
‘flexibility’ but without jeopardizing worker protections as the Schwarzenegger plan would. These proposals are not-so-thinly veiled attempts to use a budget problem to push through worker takeaways that would never succeed on their own merits.

“A real economic stimulus plan would bolster, not shrink, benefits for the unemployed. It would create jobs, not weaken the protections for those already in them. It would strengthen the middle class. Schwarzenegger’s ill-conceived and ill-advised worker takeaway proposals would undercut the rights and economic security of working families. These proposals should be soundly rejected.”


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