Labor's rebellion alarms Gov. Brown
Governor Jerry Brown has become suddenly aware that some of his policies have boomeranged against him politically. He is scrambling for his political life, almost in panic over the water shortage north of Tenachapi. While the water shortage cuts across the political spectrum, what is perceived as an administrationcaused shortage of employment is arousing organized' labor.
This, incidentally, has credited a paradox. The organization that is fighting the feet-dragging policies of the Brown administration is nominally headed by Edmund G. Brown. He, of course, is Pat Brown, father of Jerry Brown. As Governor, Pat Brown's policies were the opposite of the present administration on such issues as freeway building, water development and other public works.
Pat Brown is the leader of the opposition as Chairman of the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance. Two labor members of the Council gave pieces of their minds to a joint hearing of the air and water resources board. The kicker here is that Tom Quinn, who heads the Air Board, astutely managed Jerry Brown's campaign for Governor and is reputed to be his chief political advisor at this time.
The labor spokesmen were Jerry Cremins of the L.A. County Council of Construction Trades and William R. Robertson of the County Federation of Labor. From them came a renewed allegation that the huge Dow Chemical Plant, with the thousands of jobs that it would have created directly and indirectly, was lost because Brown administration policies have made California an inhospitable state for industry. Cremin declared to the boards: "You and the ADMINISTRATION must change from a negative to a positive view." (For "administration," read "Gov. Brown.") (RH NOTE: When's the last time in recent past that you heard labor unions fighting for actual jobs, as they are here?)
Robertson was burned up over the way environmental agencies handle permits. He said: "Many have rightfully described (the air and water boards) as single-purpose 'veto' agencies, because you were established to carry out a particular environmental mandate, sometimes without the power to balance environmental objectives against other socio-economic considerations."
Cremins claimed "California priorities are out of order. Our single highest priority must be putting our fellow jobless Californians back to work. We hear much of the effects of pollution on public health. Much is said about waste, the need to conserve our resources. But California's greatest wealth- it's greatest resource- is its working men and women." (RH Note: These are union men...Robertson and Cremins are UNION men who are doing what UNIONS are supposed to do, which is to PROTECT JOBS - not lobby for more POWER for UNION LEADERS)
These men are talking about the most powerful issue in politics, "the bread basket." Skilled men who are unemployed and blame the administration for their plight, have no ears for philosophical rebuttals.
Watch Gov. Brown's daily actions and you'll see a politician who has become alarmed over the labor groundswell against him. He is taking symbolic actions to change his negative image as fast as he can.
Redlands Daily Facts - Redlands, Calif. Thursday, March 3, 1977- 14