This week we continue our series about the shaping of California’s laws and policies by Corporate Democrats. In his second article, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Gary Cohn examines how a bill does not become a law when powerful business interests lobby against it.
Jim Araby was dead asleep when his cell phone rang at 6 a.m. last June. Until then the labor activist had been enjoying an idyllic family vacation in Guerneville, on Sonoma County’s Russian River. But the number appearing on his phone told him the call was from Sacramento, suggesting bad news. The voice he now heard confirmed it.
“Can you get here?” a union colleague asked. “We need you.”
Araby, a regional director of the United Food and Commercial Workers, listened in dismay as he learned that Assembly Bill 880, which more than half a dozen community groups and unions had supported,
Dozens of Stockton-area workers and seniors streamed into the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter [Thursday] morning to deliver an important message: Walmart must pay its fair share for health care.
It was the second stop on the statewide “Close the Walmart Loophole” tour.
Not even the grey sky or the rainy weather could dampen the spirits of the members of AFSCME [American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees], UFCW [United Food and Commercial Workers], Teamsters and other unions and seniors from the California Association of Retired Americans who all came together to fight for what is right for taxpayers.
Richard Andazola, President of the San Joaquin-Calaveras Central Labor Council:
“We’re here to send a message that a few big corporations like Walmart shouldn’t get to evade the law just because they have an army of lobbyists on their side.