Construction union group calls for single-payer advocates to “tone down” attacks on Rendon

robbie hunter
Robbie Hunter at the opening of new Bay Bridge east span in 2013 (btcalameda.org)

California construction union leader Robbie Hunter has called for the toning down of attacks against assembly speaker Anthony Rendon following his decision to shelve a bill to establish universal health care in the state.

The Democratic leader had said that his family have experienced “distressing” death threats since announcing that thewoefully incomplete Senate Bill 562 would not move forward this year, the Sacramento Bee has reported.

Hunter, the president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents more than 400,000 construction workers in California, said in a statement that the attacks on Rendon by proponents of single-payer healthcare and their allies are unfair, “and they ignore his long-established record to expand healthcare access, protect workers’ rights, and advance sustainable environmental policies.

“In keeping the single payer bill in the Assembly Rules Committee, the Speaker has created time to address the issues related to single payer so that the bill passed by the state Senate can move forward successfully,” Hunter said in a statement.

“Workers are experiencing attacks from many directions. Working people have real fights, and they are not with a labor champion like Anthony Rendon.

“The unfair and unwarranted attacks on him are distractions that undermine the real fight to defend and improve access to quality healthcare that are now pending in Congress. Our state continues to advance the most progressive policies in the entire nation to protect the most vulnerable as well as working families.

“We urge the advocates for single payer — the only true reform in health care in the United States that will work — to tone down the rhetoric and move forward with the necessary discussions to advance the goal of universal healthcare which we all believe in. Instead of attacking Speaker Rendon, they should work with him and other legislative leaders to develop workable policies and to present ideas on how to finance them.”

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