CA: Labor Mobilizes Against Anti-Union Ballot Measure

With the election around the corner, the Labor Unions are organizing opposition to a ballot measure that would reign in their political influence. More than 30,000 union volunteers have mobilized to knock on doors, canvas work sites and make phone calls.

Proposition 32, also known as “The Paycheck Protection Initiative” aims to curtail the political influence of California’s Unions.  The measure would ban donations to candidates from unions and corporations, it would stop unions and corporations from deducting money from paychecks to be used in political campaigns and finally, it would stop government contractors from donating money to public officials who are responsible for awarding government contracts.

If the measure passes, Unions would lose a primary source of political funding.

"This is a personal attack on many workers in this state — and they feel that," said Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation. "Any time you are facing something like that, things get ratcheted up."

It’s not clear how Proposition 32 is a personal attack on union workers since the measure would result in workers pocketing a greater portion of their paycheck. Proposition 32 does not stop individual workers from donating directly to the political causes they support; it just stops the unions from making that decision for them.

The GOP is trying to counter the union’s GOTV efforts, but “party officials said they lacked the resources to match labor's ground game” – which precisely the point of Prop 32.

California’s Teachers Association, California Tax Franchise Board, and Service Employee’s International Union are out working the ground game.  According to the LA Times, when knocking on the door of an a SEIU employee she reports:  “I did what the union said.”


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