FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 11, 2010
CONTACT: Steve Smith (510) 326-4644
As Last Gubernatorial Debate Looms, Domestic Workers Demand Meg Whitman Apologize to Nicky Diaz Santillan and all Working People
Workers invite public to join in demanding accountability from Whitman by signing petition at http://www.ApologizeMeg.org
LOS ANGELES, CA – On the eve of the last Gubernatorial debate between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown, elected officials and labor leaders joined domestic workers to demand an apology from Meg Whitman to her former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz Santillan, the Latino community and all working people. The workers, on behalf of millions of Californians who live in the shadows because of exploitation and mistreatment from the Meg Whitmans of the world demanded that Whitman apologize for mistreating Nicky on the job and coldly turning her back on Nicky, a woman Whitman says she considered part of her family.
“Whitman has blamed everyone else for her own mistakes, going so far as to accuse her housekeeper of being a felon who would steal the family’s mail, and Meg Whitman needs to apologize for this accusation,” said Mike Garcia, President, United Service Workers West. “We’re demanding that in the last debate before Election Day Meg Whitman apologize to Nicky, the Latino community, and all voters in California.”
“Everyone who works hard in California deserves to be treated with dignity, but Meg Whitman thinks she can use people when it’s convenient and then turn her back on us when we need help,” said Julia Moreno who worked as a live-in maid for 25 years. “We’re inviting all Californians to go to www.ApologizeMeg.org and sign the petition to tell Meg its time to stop playing the blame game and take accountability for the way she treated Nicky.”
At a rally in front of Meg Whitman’s East Los Angeles campaign office, Los Angeles Latino leaders including Assemblymember Hector De La Torre and State Senator Gill Cedillo said Whitman has reacted poorly to the revelations from her former housekeeper, actions that spotlight her hypocrisy on immigration issues and demonstrate her refusal to accept accountability for her actions.
“We are here today on behalf of Nicky and all the people who live in the shadows so that their families can have a better life. The fact that Meg Whitman, a billionaire, was willing to cheat Nicky out of her hard-earned money shows she has no idea what it’s like for people like us who earn just enough to scrape by,” Lelis Juarez a housekeeper who is owed over 3,000 in back wages by her former employer. “If Meg Whitman can’t even treat those who work in her home with respect, dignity and compassion, how do you think she’s going to treat California workers if she becomes Governor?”
The website www.ApologizeMeg.org gives all Californians the opportunity to join in demanding Whitman apologize to Nicky, the Latino community, and all Californians.