LABOR UNION FIRES BACK AT BERNIE SANDERS OVER HIS PROPOSAL TO MAKE PG&E, CALIFORNIA’S LARGEST UTILITY, A WARD OF THE STATE
One of California’s largest labor unions fired back against Senator Bernie Sanders today for his proposal to have California taxpayers spend over $100 billion to seize Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility, and convert it to a government-run enterprise. Two weeks ahead of the California primary, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, which represents 25,000 frontline energy workers, is also running advertising on the issue (attached here).
“Senator Sanders is proposing California taxpayers spend over $100 billion to acquire PG&E,” said Tom Dalzell, Business Manager of IBEW Local 1245. “If he had bothered to talk to one member of our union he would have understood that his proposal is a bad idea for three reasons: it will cost taxpayers $100 billion dollars (or more), it will raise energy bills for millions of California’s working families, and it will slow down the environmental progress we are making to reduce emissions.”
Dalzell said he was deeply troubled both by Sanders’ proposal and how it was developed and announced.
“Agree or disagree, we expect political leaders to listen to workers before they make decisions that affect those workers. Sanders and his team didn’t consult with us or a single affected worker before they announced this scheme,” said Dalzell.
Sanders’ proposal was originally advanced by the Democratic Socialists of America.
“PG&E needs to get much better. It needs reform and it needs it now. But spending $100 billion or more and raising energy bills for hard working Californians is not going to make the situation better. It is going to make it worse,” said Dalzell.
“The state has the power to regulate PG&E and demand that the company improves. The state should start doing its job and hold all the utilities accountable. We don’t need to raise our energy bills and reward Wall Street – who will be the real beneficiary of this payout – to make California utilities safer. We have the power to regulate them – let’s demand that the state use that power wisely,” said Dalzell.
IBEW 1245 represents 25,000 frontline workers at both public and private utilities. The union represents more than 12,000 workers at PG&E.
Please see advertising below that was placed in the Sacramento Bee today and was also distributed to union members and allies.
Contact: Bergen Kenny/415.819.0959