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SUPPORT STRIKING COUNTY WORKERS!

Parity Now! Support Striking Workers!
Statement of City Council Candidate Steve Argue:

2,000 workers for the county began striking on
Monday September 16, 2002. Among their demands is
parity with county workers over the hill that make 7%
more than the county workers of Santa Cruz. Workers
in expensive Santa Cruz deserve better pay as the cost
of living continues to increase.

I support the demands of these workers organized
in the SEIU and support their strike 100%. While the Board of Supervisors refuses to increase the pay of County workers they have at the same time given themselves and others in management salary raises this year. One way
pay increases could be paid for would be by cutting
the bloated salaries of management.

In addition the Board of Supervisors has been sitting on a half a billion dollar surplus in its budget. It has been doing this while claiming poverty and making cuts to needed social services such as busses and health care. While some of this surplus money is earmarked by the federal and state governments for specific projects, a good portion is not. Common sense says that tight economic times are the times to spend budget surpluses before making cuts to needed social programs and also before forcing workers to strike.

The continued trend of management making more and
more than the working class in America must be
reversed. The SEIU's strike against the county
government represents an important front line in this
struggle.

Another important front line in this struggle are
the workers of the International Longshore and
Warehouseman's Union (ILWU) who have been facing the
threat of troops being sent in against them by the
Bush Administration. These threats have come in the
middle of negotiations even before a strike has taken
place.

Bush Junior's threats against the west coast
longshore workers are reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's
attacks on the PATCO air traffic controllers when he
declared their strike illegal and dragged their union
leaders away to jail in chains. We are still
suffering from that attack on organized labor. The
standard of living of the entire working class was
subsequently driven downward across the nation as the
bosses, with the help of government intervention,
broke unions in some cases and got concessions
contracts in others.

Union solidarity is the key to stopping government
attacks on workers. If the entire AFL-CIO had stuck
in solidarity with the PATCO workers across the nation
in a united general strike the outcome of the PATCO
strike and later union negotiations would have been
very different.

Instead of flexing real union power much of the
AFL-CIO leadership relies on their "friends" in the
Democrat Party, giving them massive amounts of money
from our union dues to pay for the Democrat's election
campaigns. Yet the Democrats often play the role of
strikebreakers themselves, as Bill Clinton did against
my union when I struck for 47 days against the
Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1994. Money the unions
gave to Clinton and other democrats would be better
spent on strike funds and through promoting third
party candidates that really represent the interests
of labor.

In my campaign for City Council I urge full support
for the SEIU 's strike. A call has been made for food
donations to the union. Contact the SEIU at
isupportseiu415 (at) aol.com for more information on how
you can donate to their struggle.
 
 


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