Howie Hawkins Stands with Working New Yorkers

Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor, stands with working New Yorkers and opposes Cuomo's anti-labor attacks.

From: The href=";ref=nyregion&&%2359;_r=1">NY Times:

Cuomo Vows Offensive Against Labor Unions

Andrew M. Cuomo will mount a presidential-style permanent political campaign to counter the well-financed labor unions he believes have bullied previous governors and lawmakers into making bad decisions. He will seek to transform the state’s weak business lobby into a more formidable ally, believing that corporate leaders in New York have virtually surrendered the field to big labor.

From Gotham Gazette:
Cuomo Vows Campaign Against Labor Unions

In an extended interview with The New York Times Andrew Cuomo pledged to go on the offensive against labor unions in an effort to cut the budget. Cuomo said he would use a permanent political campaign to combat well funded unions that traditionally lobby and advertise hard against state budget cuts. Cuomo said he would take a different tact with legislators--he said previous governors made a mistake by trying to bully them into action. Cuomo refused to point out what he would cut out of state spending. Cuomo, who has notoriously avoided the press most of this election season, said he was frustrated the media is not paying attention to the policy books he issued.

Howie Hawkins Vows to Support Unions and Working Families

The Green Party's Howie Hawkins, a Teamster, is the only union member running for statewide office.
"Cuomo is ... threatening to cut pay and jobs for public employees and cut essential services to close the budget deficit while the Wall Street and the wealthy pay lower rates of state and local taxes than working people."

(Previous Hawkins statements on supporting workers.) Hawkins, the only union member running for statewide office, criticized Democrats Cuomo and Duffy for their attacks on unions. Hawkins said he would be a strong proponent of organized labor as Governor and would seek to raise the state minimum wage, unemployment benefits and pension protections. Hawkins noted that more than 800,000 New Yorkers are out of work yet the Democratic state legislators failed to pass legislation to raise either the maximum or average unemployment benefits.

Hawkins supports an increase in the state minimum wage to $12 an hour; a constitutional amendment to guarantee a living wage job; strengthening of workers' rights, including the right to unionize, starting with a repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act; a reduction in the work week to 32 hours; increased government support for employee ownership; enactment of a single-payer universal health care system; extending state and federal labor laws to protect farm workers; and mandatory six week vacations for all workers.

"We need stronger unions and more workers organized into unions in order to promote the interests of the vast majority of New Yorkers who live by their labor. We need a stronger and united labor movement to stand up to the power of Wall Street and the wealthy at the State Capitol. Cuomo is going in the opposite direction, threatening to cut pay and jobs for public employees and cut essential services to close the budget deficit while the Wall Street and the wealthy pay lower rates of state and local taxes than working people," stated Hawkins.

"The problem isn't strong unions protecting workers. The problem is that wages have remained stagnant in America since the 1970s while productivity has gone up 80%. New York leads the country in income equality. The wealth that workers create only goes into the pockets of the wealthy. The Democrats in power in DC have broken their promises of labor reform. I intend to revive the New Deal tradition that began in New York with political leaders like FDR, Frances Perkins and Robert Wagner who championed workers rights, setting an example that the rest of the nation then followed when the New Deal went national. And then we will 'green' the New Deal by building a sustainable green economy and economic democracy," said Hawkins.