Retail

Attorney General Candidate Stands Up for Workers

By Bendix Anderson

On Saturday, June 26, District Attorney Kathleen Rice spoke at a rally with striking Mott’s plant workers in Williamson.  Here is a short (under 1 minute) video of her speech produced by RWDSU: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2LyvKx0keA&feature=player_embedded

Candidate for New York State Attorney General Kathleen Rice joined the picket line at a Mott’s processing plant June 26 to support workers protesting layoffs, lower pay, and cuts to benefits.

“Corporate profits are up, workers pay is down. Is that fair?” she said to hundreds of Mott’s workers who called back: “No!” Rice continued: “I am going to stand with you until they give you what you deserve.”

Rice is currently District Attorney for Nassau County – that’s a long way from the Mott’s plan in Williamson, N.Y., close to Rochester, N.Y. But Rice has a long history of going out of her way to fight for workers rights.

As Nassau County District Attorney, Rice started the county’s first-ever unit focused solely on investigating and prosecuting violations of state and local wage laws, misclassification fraud, and low-wage worker exploitation. So far, the team has recovered more than $1.4 million for local governments and Nassau County workers.

She also formed a “Labor Law Advisory Group” to keep her staff of attorneys and prosecutors in touch with the concerns of workers.

“I’ve been fighting on behalf of workers and defending workers’ rights since my first day in office and I will be proud to fight on their behalf as our state’s next attorney general,” said District Attorney Rice.

She took on the world’s largest corporation over safety issues. Her investigation of a fatal 2008 “Black Friday” stampede at Wal-Mart eventually forced the retail giant to make reforms to protect store workers and consumers. Wal-Mart also set up a $1.5 million victims’ compensation fund.

“District Attorney Rice has been a tireless advocate for workers rights in one of the largest counties in the state, and promises to do the same as attorney general,” said New York City Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) president Gary LaBarbera as he gave Rice the endorsement of his union June 17.

“She’s been supportive and responsive to the needs of working people throughout Nassau County as district attorney,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. “She provides Democrats the best chance to make sure that we have a progressive attorney general in the state of New York. She’s the best.”

July 2, 2010

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