With California facing budget deficits as far as the eye can see, California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer told a packed room of more than 700 union members and leaders at Labor’s Joint Legislative Conference in Sacramento that the state’s fiscal deficit doesn’t match the moral deficit of greedy corporations that have cut and run on California families.
Pulaski opened the conference railing against large corporations like Wal-Mart, Bank of America and Toyota that aren’t paying their fair share in taxes for the services that all Californians depend upon, like education, public safety and the other vital programs.
The high-road partnership we once had with corporations that helped build our infrastructure and educate our kids has turned into a low-road dictatorship.
Nowhere is that more clear than the current situation at New United Motors Manufacturing Inc (NUMMI) auto plant in Fremont, which Toyota recently announced it plans to close, resulting in more than 30,000 jobs lost throughout the state. Toyota has said it plans to close the plant because it’s not “financially viable,” but as Pulaski pointed out, a recent report released by a Blue Ribbon Commission appointed by State Treasurer Lockyer refutes that notion. Toyota’s decision was based on greed, not financial viability.
Pulaski also hammered Meg Whitman, the CEO Republican billionaire running for Governor. Whitman wants to cut 40,000 state jobs and has signaled she’d slash spending on programs that Californians desperately need to stay afloat in this recession.
Meg Whitman couldn't care less about the future of California. She couldn't even be bothered to vote, year after year after year!
Pulaski also urged union leaders and activists to keep fighting for working people’s priorities, despite recent setbacks at the federal level. California union members and their families sent thousands of letters and made tens of thousands of phone calls to legislators, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, calling for the passage of health care reform and the Employee Free Choice Act.
While those issues are still pending in Congress, the grassroots activism by working families has pushed both measure close to passage. Pulaski told the energized crowd of leaders and members that it’s time to get those measurers over the finish line and create the change that working families so desperately need.
This is a remarkable movement and we’re closer than ever to passing real reform for working families. It’s time to finish the job.