Big Labor Gets Big Benefits in California
Mike Brownfield /
Want proof that unions are doing everything they can to maintain their grip on power? Take a look at California, where Governor Jerry Brown (D) finished off the state’s legislative session with big gifts to Big Labor (after they campaigned heavily for Brown’s election) . The L.A. Times reports:
When the dust settled on Gov. Jerry Brown’s first legislative session in nearly three decades, no group had won more than organized labor, which heralded its largest string of victories in nearly a decade.
At the urging of the food workers’ union, Brown agreed to crack down on the use of automated checkout machines in grocery stores. At firefighters’ request, he approved new restrictions on local governments seeking to void union contracts. He guaranteed wages for workers in public libraries that are privatized — a bill sponsored by another labor group.
Those unions and others helped bankroll Brown’s campaign last year.
But opposing automated checkout machines and imposing new restrictions on local governments to void union contracts weren’t the only victories. The L.A. Times reports that all told, Brown signed more than a dozen labor-backed bills “ensuring prevailing wages for trash haulers, increasing fines for employers who violate labor laws and restricting the use of non-union contractors for certain state services.” Brown also signed a bill that would move all statewide ballot initiatives to November ballots, giving unions a leg up on a measure that would affect their ability to use union dues for political purposes.
Nationally, Big Labor is hard at work trying to cement and expand their power, too. Unions have lobbied the Obama Administration to change the rules of the game to make unionization easier, prevent private employers from locating in right-to-work states—as the NLRB is doing with Boeing case in South Carolina—and pushing for more government spending on infrastructure projects that employ primarily union members.
Unfortunately for Californians, Gov. Brown is putting union interests before those of the state. And unfortunately for Americans, President Barack Obama is doing the same.