California faces referendum on anti-union law

Obama needs 270 votes to win the Whitehouse – so it’s handy that the biggest hitting state is reliably Democrat. Winning California will give him 55 votes. But there’s more at stake for union members there than Obama vs Romney.


Voters also have a referendum on a proposed anti-union law which would ban the use of voluntary payroll deductions by union members who want to contribute to their union’s political activity. The effect would be to tip the balance of spending in elections away from unions and towards corporate interests.


Democrat State representative Linda Sanchez says, “This paycheck deception is the No. 1 target to silence the voices of hard-working families, and it’s a crime.” Whilst another State representative Judy Chu has called it “The most dangerous proposition of all time. It will silence the union members and their voices.”


Proposition (Prop) 32 is a near-clone of similar referendum questions in previous years: 2005’s Prop. 75 and 1998’s Prop. 226, which voters defeated by 53% to 47%. The AFL-CIO (America’s TUC) are hoping this year will see the Prop defeated once and for all


The referendum provides an unwanted distraction for unions which could otherwise be concentrating on the Whitehouse. The irony if they win the referendum and Obama loses, is that Romney has promised to ask Congress to bring in Prop 32 at a NATIONAL LEVEL. 


California may seem a long way from the UK – but anti-union interests have always used complicating the way members pay their subs as a line of attack. The Secretary of State for Local Government Eric Pickles said at Conservative Party Conference earlier this Autumn that he would encourage British Councils to charge unions for using payroll for the administration of subs.


Referendums may be a distraction from the main campaign – but can serve as a rallying point to increase participation for a particular group, such as union members.


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  1. [...] blog posts on UnionHome described the campaigning clout that US unions put into the Presidential race. Now [...]

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