CBS 13 in Sacramento reports that the local Labor Day picnic was troubled by a schism among union members. The rift followed the suspension of Bill Camp, the outspoken labor leader who has opposed Mayor Kevin Johnson’s attempt to increase the powers of his office. Camp was placed on paid administrative leave by theSacramento Central Labor Council Board. He has since filed a grievance with his bosses.
The president of the Board, Lino Pedres, was asked if the strong-mayor campaign pushed by Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson had something to do with Camp’s absence. Pedres replied, “Not at all. It’s not about politics.”
Supporters of Camp believe otherwise, claiming that he was placed on leave because he criticized the mayor’s power grab at a eulogy Camp gave at Sacramento civic leader Grantland Johnson’s funeral. Grantland Johnson’s widow later revealed she had written a letter of support for Camp. At the Labor Day picnic, they passed out flyers and produced out a T-shirt reading, “I Miss Bill.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, the mayor’s campaign, which will take the form of a November ballot measure, has been supported by the union representing city police officers, as well as an association of electrical contracting firms that use unionized workers. They joined other unions that were comprised of construction workers and ironworkers in approving the plan to give the mayor more power. That power would include the power to appoint and fire the city manager, as well as to propose the city budget.