For immediate release
October 5, 2020
Statement on Governor Newsom’s veto of AB 3216 by Enrique Fernandez on behalf of the California affiliates of UNITE HERE International Union
We don’t want to sugar coat this. The Governor’s veto of AB3216 is devastating to the housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers and servers who built the hospitality industry, especially women of color. The bill would simply have allowed hospitality workers to return to their jobs as the industry reopens. It is hard to imagine how to undo the economic damage this veto causes.
The pain for immigrant workers is compounded by the Governor’s additional vetoes of AB 826 (emergency food assistance to immigrants), SB 1257 (workplace safety protections for domestic workers), SB1102 (protecting employment rights of immigrant farmworkers), and AB331 (high school ethnic studies). Our families and communities lose with the combined impact of these actions. Most concerning of all is the Governor’s failure to oppose Proposition 22, which would lock low-wage workers in insecure jobs with no rights to organize. Defeating Proposition 22 is the most important battle for labor rights waged in decades, and there would be no excuse for any Democrat to stand on the sidelines of it.
We need an economic recovery that is centered on working people, not on the profits of big corporations. Our members cannot be window dressing for bailouts to the hospitality industry. We invite all working people to join the struggle for a true economic recovery, which will be won in the streets. Our members are already on the ground walking door to door in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We must unite to defeat Proposition 22. When we’re done winning this election, we’ll return to pushing our elected leaders to stand with the workers who fought so hard to elect them.
Enrique Fernandez, president of the California State Council of UNITE HERE