City Council Speaker Christine Quinn won’t tolerate anyone messing with Mayor Bloomberg and Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, doesn’t want messing with Ms. Quinn for angrily leaving this morning’s rally celebrating the upcoming vote to pass the living wage bill after someone mocked the mayor.
Ms. Quinn made her exit from morning’s rally on the City Hall steps when someone shouted a crack about “Pharaoh Bloomberg.” Mr. Appelbaum, who was in attendance at the awkward rally, leapt to the Speaker’s defense this afternoon with a press release reminding people of her role in getting the living wage bill vote passed in the first place.
“Make no mistake, there would be no living wage law bill without the Speaker,” Mr. Appelbaum said. “Even though Chris may have left the rally after declaring her support for the bill, the most important thing for us to remember is that thousands of new Yorkers will receive higher wages because she had the courage to stand up and pass the living wage law.”
The Jewish Labor Committee, which is headed by Stuart Appelbaum, is hosting their annual dinner as labor makes their big push for living wage legislation. Mr. Appelbaum is also the President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Among the labor bigwigs attending Mr. Appelbaum’s event is Richard Trumka, the national head of the AFL-CIO.
Further connecting the dinner to the living wage fight, the Jewish Labor Committee has recently been campaigning for the bill, which would require taxpayer-subsidized projects to pay higher wages. “Having prominent Jews on board with living wage and understanding living wage as an important issue for progressive Jews to support is certainly helpful,” one insider familiar with the event said. “Though let me stress that tonight is much bigger than living wage–Israel and other issues will be discussed.”
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union announced today that they were endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election.
In a statement, RWDSU head Stuart Appelbaum, who has made his name over the past several years as one of the city’s most ferocious critics of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had high praise for the president, describing as a champion of the working class.