Governor Cuomo: "I am going to stand with you shoulder to shoulder, 100 percent in this fight. We will fight for your rights, whatever it takes. And if we are united, we will never be defeated."
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
PHOTOS of the event will be available on Governor Cuomo's Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
32BJ President, Hector Figueroa: Brothers and sisters, we are very lucky today to have with you a very distinguished, very distinguished guest here at our rally. Now the person that I am about to introduce to you should be very familiar to you all because we have won with him. He's standing right here. We have won with him, the best, the best legislation over the last eight years in any state in the country for working people. We have won a minimum wage of $15 an hour. We have won paid leave for all New Yorkers. We have won free tuition at state colleges. We have won marriage equality. We have won over and over again. Every time that we have gone to fight for workers' rights, everyone, we have gone to fight for working people the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has been there and we have won thanks to him. And more recently, the Governor, after a long fight of five years, we finally were able to bring justice to the airport workers in Newark, LaGuardia, and Kennedy, and we have the highest minimum wage for workers anywhere, anywhere in the United States. Now, brothers and sisters, our Governor needs to know how many people are here, so please lower your flags, lower your signs, lower them so he can see all the way down to 78th Street, all the way down to 77th Street, today, Park Avenue belongs to 32BJ and 32BJ welcomes and supports our Governor, Andrew Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo: You are a beautiful sight. Let's hear it for Hector Figueroa. Oh we love him more than that. Let's hear it for Hector Figueroa. Let's hear it for Mary Kay Henry. I want to start by thanking you. I want to thank you for the hard work you do. I want to thank you for keeping New York running. You deserve respect. You deserve gratitude. You deserve thanks, and you deserve fair pay for the valuable service you perform.
Now these are frightening times that we live in in this world. New York and working men and women don't have a lot of friends right now. We have an extreme conservative philosophy that is taking over this country. You see it in Washington, DC. Where you have a Washington Administration that opposes everything that is New York, opposes everything that is for working men and women. Everything we believe and they're against.
A reporter said to me the other day, "What do you mean by extreme conservative?" I said I mean extreme conservative. Look at the words. They go together. Now we've always had political differences in New York. We're Democrats, Republicans. We're liberals, conservatives. But this is different. I have three daughters who are all of dating age. One of them the other day accused me of being conservative. Now those are fighting words in my home when they say that. I don't think there's anything wrong with demanding a full background check on any boyfriend who comes through the door. And I don't think there's anything embarrassing about asking him to be fingerprinted so I can run that full background check.
But these extreme conservatives. They are different. They're anti-Democratic. They're anti-American. They're anti-immigrant, and the hypocrisy of being anti-immigrant because unless you are a Navajo or an Apache or a Comanche or a Native American, you too are an immigrant. They talk about opposing undocumented people. I'm an Italian-American. When my people came here to Ellis Island, they called my people wops. They called Italians wops. Why did they call them wops? Because when they got to Ellis Island they didn't have papers and wops stood for, without papers. My people are undocumented people. A lot of people who came here are undocumented people. It is anti-American to not appreciate the contribution and the beauty of the diversity that we have here in New York - 18 million people from every place no the globe. And they don't appreciate that beauty. They left Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and they abandoned Puerto Rico, and if it wasn't for New York stepping up and going down and bringing help and 32BJ showing up, they'd still be in the same place.
There's an anti-worker mentality that has taken over this country. The new mentality is pro corporation. It is pro-big business. They just gave a tax cut to the richest one percent of Americans. It's not enough that a CEO makes 300 times what a worker makes. And they have no understanding of what it means to be middle-class. To be stuck in the middle between piles of bills that get bigger and bigger and paychecks that can't keep up. They don't know what it means to see your rent go up and the tuition go up and the cost of living go up, and your salary can't keep up. They don't understand the dignity of work and the sacrifice you make every day. They don't understand what it means to be living under a boss and the constant dread of a boss and constantly afraid of the security of your job.
They elected a man for President, President Trump who said two words: You're Fired. Those are the two words that made him President of the United States. You have two allies who stand with you. Number one, you have each other. You have your union. You have solidarity. And you have to remember that it's the union that built the middle class in this country and it's the unions that protect the middle class in this country. It's the union movement that brought us to 40-hour work week, child labor laws, safety laws, disability laws, pension laws, health care laws, and it's the unions that equalized the bargaining table with collective bargaining so that you get a fair shake from management.
32BJ is one of the best unions in the United States of America. You have to deal with the real estate industry, which is one of the toughest industries in this country. And 32BJ is up to the fight and when Hector Figueroa is at the table you know you're going to get a fair deal. And what I love about 32BJ and Hector and Mary Kay, they don't just talk, they deliver. They deliver. Not just for the union, but for the people of this state. When they fight, they win! When they fight, they win! When they fight, they win! When they fight, they win! When they fight, they win! When they fight, they win!
They stood up and they fought for a $15 minimum wage and they got it. They changed life for working men and women all throughout this state. They delivered on Paid Family Leave. They delivered for airport workers. And they will deliver for you. Your other ally, my friends, is me. I am a born and raised New Yorker. Born in Hollis, Queens. Raised by poor immigrants from South Jamaica. I am going to stand with you shoulder to shoulder, 100 percent in this fight. We will fight for your rights, whatever it takes. And if we are united, we will never be defeated. If we are united, we will never be defeated. United, we will never be defeated. I will stand with you on any picket line, on any doorway, and standing together, we're going to get the fair pay that you deserve. God Bless you!