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Green Party of California

Green congressional candidate arrested at labor protest; state party calls for living wage, universal health care, worker benefits

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 6, 2004

Contacts:
Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,

SACRAMENTO While a Green Party congressional was being arrested at a major labor protest, the Green Party of California on Labor Day renewed its call for more benefits for California's workers, including universal health care and a living wage something the Republican and Democratic parties do not support.

In San Francisco, 8th CD candidate Terry Baum was among hundreds of people arrested at the St. Francis Hotel as part of a massive demonstration in support of the Hotel Worker's Union, Local 2. She was taken to jail with at least 200 others, including Green Supervisorial candidate Renee Saucedo (9th District).

And, in a statement released Monday, the GPCA said it stands by the average citizen who is working longer hours, and receiving less for it and who owe their situation to corporate-controlled politicians in both major parties.

"The Green Party, and all of our candidates, support single-payer health insurance which would cover everyone. It should not come down to paying for a life-saving operation or putting food on the table," said GPCA spokesperson Beth Moore Haines, adding millions of Californians, and 46 million Americans do not have health care.

Quoting U.S. Census statistics that show the poverty rate has increased since 2003 and the gap between the richest and poorest has increased, the Greens said the need for a living wage is even more of a necessity for working Californians.

The GPCA also urged a repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, which makes it difficult for American workers to unionize, bargain and strike. Unions are in decline, and as they have declined, so have worker wages over the past 20 years.

"It costs more to live in California, for such necessities as housing and food. Workers should not have to rely on state assistance, and food stamps if they are working full-time. It's time for the corporations to pay living wages, and not just fatten the obscene bonuses paid to their executives," said GPCA state official Peggy Lewis.

"The right to start a union, to support your fellow workers and to bargain for a better way of life in our state is a basic right. We should all work for laws, in California and at the federal level, to ensure that right," said Baum before she was arrested Monday.

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The Green Party of California
http://www.cagreens.org
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
gpca@greens.org