Saturday, May 12, 2012

CA in danger of becoming RTW4Less

There's a nasty ballot initiative in California coming up that's aimed at destroying unions. It's extremely deceptive, and we're going to have to fight like hell to defeat it.

Christine Bronstein explains in the San Francisco Chronicle:
There is a sneaky initiative on the November ballot that would put California on its way to higher poverty and lower wages. Dubbed the "Stop Special Interest Money Now Act," this initiative could increase the number of uninsured workers, double the wage gap, and cut your annual income by almost $6,000.
Also known as the "Paycheck Protection" initiative, the measure would put California on a path to becoming a right-to-work state, that is, a state that limits collective bargaining.
The initiative claims that it will remove "Big money Interests from politics" by banning unions and corporations from using "payroll-deducted funds for political purposes." The deceptive part is that corporations almost never use payroll deductions to raise political campaign funds but unions do almost exclusively - sometimes in amounts as low as $1 a week.
This bill would hurt working people's ability to fight antiunion bills, while corporations would be able to make their usual political donations through Political Action Committees and individual contributions by highly paid executives.
The initiative is backed by billionaire television tycoon A. Jerrold Perenchio and Californians Against Special Interests. 
Right-to-work states are most often states with higher poverty levels, lower wages and lower gross domestic product. For women, in particular, right-to-work laws result in a wider gap between the average earnings of women and the average earnings of men.
Common Cause urges Californians to vote no on the initiative:
This initiative would result in significant undue advantages for one set of interests over another that we believe will do more harm to California's democracy than good, and we urge voters to vote 'No.'"