Labor Committee for Hawkins for Governor (G-NY) is Launched

Labor activists from throughout New York State have started a committee to support the gubernatorial campaign of Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins.

Howie Hawkins is a member of Teamsters Local 317 and active in the national Teamster rank-and-file reform caucus, Teamsters for a Democratic Union. Howie presently works unloading trucks and rail cars at UPS. He is the former Director of CommonWorks, a federation of cooperatives working for an economy that is cooperatively owned, democratically controlled, and ecologically sustainable.

Jon Flanders

Jon Flanders

Jon Flanders, a railroad machinist, past president of Local 1145 of International Association of Machinists, co-chair of Railroad Workers United, a cross craft caucus of North American railroad workers. and a trustee of the Troy Area Labor Council said:

I’m supporting Howie Hawkins because I believe that working people will never move forward in the political field until we support candidates and a party by and for workers. The Democrats and Republicans are fundamentally creatures of the corporations that fund them and therefore represent their interests. Howie Hawkins is a working Teamster who understands this question, and who will fight with us for a working class agenda.

“New York State workers face growing insecurity, deteriorating public goods and renewed attacks on their living standards. As Governor, Hawkins will address the fact that New York has the greatest income disparity in the country, raise the state minimum wage, reform our tax system, increase and expand unemployment benefits, investing in affordable housing, and recognize the need to strengthen the right of workers to organize. Hawkins will ensure that economic development focuses on creating sustainable, living wage jobs rather than providing merely more corporate welfare for companies that play one state off the other for the biggest tax giveaways. He will ensure that corporate criminals who harm our pension plans, workers and communities are prosecuted.” said Prof. Stanley Aronowitz, who has been a steelworker, a  union organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers (now UNITE) and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Worker, and a member of the Executive Council, Professional Staff Congress, AFT

Hawkins has been a long time advocate for repeal repressive labor laws such the Taft-Hartley Act, the Hatch Act, and state Right-To-Work Laws which have crippled labor’s ability to organize by outlawing or severely restricting labor’s basic organizing tools: strikes, boycotts, pickets, and political action. Hawkins plans to make publicizing and solidarity with workers’ struggles a central feature of his campaign

“Politicians from both major parties have given hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare to their corporate campaign contributors while CEO’s have awarded themselves with obscene compensation packages as they slash jobs for Americans workers through mergers, runaway investments, subcontracting, and outsourcing abroad to countries where labor is repressed and cheap. What we need to do instead is win to labor law reform, fair trade rules, and a policy of full employment that would create millions of new living-wage jobs directly and indirectly through public investment in a sustainable green economy featuring infrastructure restoration, public works and services, and conversion from nuclear and fossil fuels to solar-based renewable energy,” Hawkins added.

Hawkins supports

  • an increase in the state minimum wage to $10 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;
  • increase 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.

“Unions have contributed about $15 billion to Democratic campaigns since 1980 with little to show for it in terms of labor law reform and pro-labor economic policies. If we had spend that money on independent labor political action, we could have created a labor daily newspaper, a labor news and public affairs radio and cable TV network, and a powerful independent pro-labor political party with paid organizers in every county in the nation,” Hawkins noted.


Below is the call of the Labor Committee for Howie Hawkins and the initial signers.

Labor Committee for Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York State

We, the undersigned New York State labor union members, support the Green Party campaign for governor by Howie Hawkins.

Environmental, financial and political crises rock the nation. But measures taken in response by those elected to power have made things worse, not better.

Taxpayer bailouts for the Wall Street rich combined with reductions in public programs are not the answer. Endless wars and environmental catastrophe blister on top of job losses. We have suffered progressively unaffordable costs of living in the face of a real decline in our benefits and wages.

With the state and the nation plainly headed in the wrong direction, we need a strong labor movement more than ever. But where is the voice of working people in the elections?

Labor has no voice when it is ever more difficult to tell the difference between the Democratic and the Republican Parties. A prime example: Andrew Cuomo’s proposed austerity policy for New York State. Andrew Cuomo intends to cap state spending while rejecting higher taxes on the rich. His anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-democratic platform is unacceptable. It echoes the big-banker proposals of his Republican opponents.

Working people must have a voice in the November elections, independent of the Republicans and Democrats. The race for Governor of New York is a good place to start.

Howie Hawkins can help us find our voice. Because he is a rank and file unionist, a member of Teamsters Local 317, Howie Hawkins understands workers’ concerns in a way that the professional politicians never can and never will.

Howie Hawkins’ platform includes:

Take the Rich Off Welfare!
The Wealthy Must Pay Their Share to Erase the Deficit and Fund Jobs,
Schools, Health Care, Homes, the Environment, and Revenue Sharing with
Local Governments

Replace the Two-Party Corporate State with Multi-Party Democracy
through Proportional Representation, Democratize Legislative Rules,
Strengthen Disclosure Laws for Lobbying and Election Expenditures

Jobs for All at Living Wages

A Single-Payer, Community-Based Health Service

Howie Hawkins complete platform can be seen at http://www.howiehaw 2010/index. php/platform. html

It is time for working people to give up choosing between bad and worse.

It is time to find our own independent voice.

It is time to support a genuine working class alternative to the parties of corporate rule.

It is time to support one of our own, a worker who understands our problems and issues and who will fight with us.

It is time to support Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York State.

Please join us in the Labor Committee for Howie Hawkins.

You can email laborforhawkins@ to add your name to the list of labor Hawkins endorsers.

Initial Labor Endorsers of the Hawkins Campaign for Governor

Name Union*

Jon Flanders member and past President IAM LL 1145, Trustee, Troy Area Labor Council
Trudy Quaif Steward, PEF-ENCON
Andy Coates, MD Secretary-Treasurer , PEF Division 231
Joe Lombardo member, CSEA 694, delegate, Troy Area Labor Council
Candice Lider Building Rep, NYSUT 10-175, Recording Secy,Troy Area Labor Council
Gordon McClelland Labor Educator, Carpenters,( Retired)
Mary Finneran Building Rep, Coxsackie-Athens Teachers’ Association (CATA) NYSUT
Charles Pierce-El UAW Local 624, Retired
Gary Bonaparte Ironworkers Local 378
John DePietro Steward, Teamsters Local 317
Willie Walker, Jr. Member, Teamsters Local 317
Charles Shahin Member, Teamsters Local 317
Kirt Spurchise Member, Teamsters Local 317
Jim Bird Member, Teamsters Local 317
Keith Ashwood Member, Teamsters Local 317
Wayne Abbey Member, Teamsters Local 317
Ed Jastrzab Member, Teamsters Local 317
Allen Perry Member, Teamsters Local 317
Maxwell Brown Member, Teamsters Local 317
Gerald R. Lotierzo Chair, Central New York Alliance for Retired Americans
Stanley Aronowitz Former Exec. Council, Professional Staff Congress, AFT
Michael Pelias Exec. Committee, Long Island University Faculty Federation
Tom Siracuse Member, Social and Economic Justice Committee, UFT
Kristin Schall Member, Professional Staff Congress, AFT
Ron Ehrenreich Member, NYSUT
Stanley R. Scobie UUP/NYSUT, Sgt at Arms, Broome-Tioga Federation of Labor. AFL-CIO
Darryl Houshower Steward, IUE/CWA 81359
Art Fleischner Solidarity Comm. of the Capital District, Past President, Troy Area LC
Mark Daigle Member, NYSUT 10-175, Delegate Troy Area Labor Council
Willie Terry Member, CSEA 690, Trustee Troy Area Labor Council
Albert DeMarco PEF 205, Delegate Troy Area Labor Council
Amy DeMarco PEF 205, Delegate Troy Area Labor Council
Anthony Gronowicz Delegate, Professional Staff Congress, AFT
Katharine Dawson NYC NYSUT, Retired
Tim Wolcott NYSUT, Waverly Central Schools

* Organizations listed for identification purposes only

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