Wednesday, January 6, 2010
San Diego labor leaders rallied today to gear up for a fight over local jobs. The president of the largest labor federation in the nation was in town to address the demonstration.
There are big construction projects being considered in San Diego: a new library, a new city hall, and maybe a convention center expansion. San Diego’s Labor Council wants those construction jobs to go to local unionized workers, and not to workers from out of state.
Richard Trumka, the recently elected president of the AFL-CIO, addressed a sea of union members in red and yellow t-shirts.
"This is a fight for the middle class of America," Trumka said. "Jobs, that’s what it’s all about, good jobs and they should be local jobs."
Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary Treasurer of the San Diego Labor Council, said workers are America's middle class taxpayers, and providing them with good jobs will increase revenues for the city and the state.
San Diego City Council President Ben Hueso also spoke. He cited the 10.3 percent unemployment rate in the region, and $400 million available for infrastructure in the city.
Hueso said he’ll propose a local jobs initiative to offer living wages and health care for San Diegans.