NEWS & LETTERS, July-August 2005

Stop homecare cuts

Los Angeles--On May 24, one day after Coca Cola drivers, bottlers and warehouse workers demonstrated against a lockout, 5,000 homecare workers assembled downtown in a spirited protest against Governor Schwarzenegger’s agenda of wage cuts. Mostly women workers came from throughout southern California. Though most present were Latinas, there were many blacks and Asians.

A member of Californians for Disability Rights spoke from a wheelchair and stated that the Governor’s proposal to lower the state hourly minimum wage from $8.10 to $6.75 would eventually drive patients to nursing homes. A state assembly member added that lowering homecare workers’ wages is not about saving money but is a union-busting plan, because care in a nursing home is four times as expensive as homecare.

The president of Local 434B, which organized the rally, said, "We’re fighting for a better life for homecare workers--God never intended for one group to have all the wealth," and gave organizers credit for the turnout: "We can turn out 5,000 united homecare workers."


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