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Green Party of California supports public worker protests in Wisconsin, California and other states; Greens urge more 'pushing back' to preserve workers' rights

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (Feb 24, 2011) - In response to the Wisconsin protests - and sympathetic actions in California and other states by public employees this week to preserve their rights to collective bargaining - the Green Party of California affirmed its support for unionized public workers across California and nation.

The Green Party said it urges more protests against corporate-influenced attacks to reduce benefits and even eliminate collective bargaining - as suggested in recent legislation introduced in the California State Legislature, and threatened by anti-union forces by way of a California state initiative to end public union collective bargaining rights and other benefits.

"At long last, Americans are pushing back against the rule of our country by corporate oligarchies. We've been inspired by the courage of people in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, and now by public employees in Wisconsin," said Laura Wells, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of California

"This is more than a struggle to preserve benefits and collective bargaining rights in a single state. It's about saving the infrastructure of our democracy and preventing the U.S. from lapsing into a new Robber Baron Era reminiscent of the late 19th century.

"We hope that the fire of protest spreads to every state where such budgets are proposed, whether by Democrats in California or Republicans in Wisconsin. It's a thrill to see working people take back their rights, their freedoms and their financial security," she said.

Noting that many public workers have forgone pay increases for years and experienced furloughs and benefit cuts, the Green Party of California praised the unions who have already agreed to concessions to help during the budget crisis. Republicans, and some Democrats, are simply using the crisis to break the unions, Greens said.

The GPCA also noted it has had a long-standing platform plank that supports the "fundamental" right to belong to an independent, democratic, member-run, labor union and that the widespread existence of such unions is vital to ensure a more democratic and just society.

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Contacts:
Laura Wells, Spokesperson, 510.504.4254,
Derek Iversen, Spokesperson, 323.481.8984,
Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.9170,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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