Somers, NY – Outside the Stop & Shop at Baldwin Place, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500 formally endorsed New York State Senate candidate Justin Wagner against Tea Party incumbent Senator Greg Ball (R-Patterson). The support adds to the Wagner campaign’s growing momentum, building on major endorsements in recent weeks from the Civil Service Employees Association, New York State United Teachers, Communication Workers of America, and League of Conservation Voters, among others.
The UFCW endorsement is rooted in the kitchen-table issues that matter to voters across the Hudson Valley. Earlier this year, the New York State Senate voted to repeal the Wage Theft Prevention Act, a 2010 law to protect employees from being shortchanged by employers. Senate Republicans also thwarted attempts to raise New York’s minimum wage from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $8.50 per hour. Ball stood in lockstep with the Senate’s Republican majority on both issues. In contrast, Wagner supports raising the minimum wage and preserving the Wage Theft Prevention Act.
“It’s no secret that this is still a tough economy and many working New Yorkers are struggling,” said Pat Purcell, assistant to the president of UCFW Local 1500. “Now more than ever, we need Albany focused on growing good-paying jobs, not making it easier for big chains and corporations to shortchange hardworking men and women in a tough job market. Justin Wagner stands with working New Yorkers and will be a voice for all of us in Albany.”
“I am proud to accept the endorsement of the UFCW,” said Wagner. “Good-paying jobs for working and middle-class New Yorkers are key to our economic comeback, but our minimum wage is a pale shadow of what we had decades ago. This is a clear policy difference – I’m standing with working New Yorkers and Greg Ball is standing against them.”
“Senator Ball’s Tea Party approach on the minimum wage requires us to reject common sense and believe that businesses would close up and the world would end if hardworking New Yorkers got a raise,” continued Wagner. “But the truth makes much more sense: relieving the squeeze on working families can actually increase purchases and boost the economy. We need to raise the minimum wage now.”
UCFW Local 1500 represents more than 23,000 members working primarily in grocery stores in the greater New York metropolitan area, including Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties.
Justin Wagner is running to represent the Hudson Valley’s 40th Senate District in the New York State Senate. He is an attorney raising his family in Croton-on-Hudson.