Poll: Should Unions Lose Paycheck Deductions for Political Spending?

Proposition 32 on November ballot seeks to reduce labor movement power, critics argue.

Happy Labor Day! But whether a union represents you or not, your vote will help decide a November ballot measure that is keeping labor leaders up at night. Proposition 32, according to its advocates, “stops special interests from taking political deductions from employee paychecks to guarantee every dollar given for politics is strictly voluntary.”  But critics say: “This measure says it prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. It says it also applies to corporations, so it sounds balanced. But 99 percent of California corporations don’t use payroll deductions for political giving; they would still be allowed to use their profits to influence elections.”  Which argument influences you?

Batman September 04, 2012 at 08:52 PM
There's nothing in this bill that prevents union members from VOLUNTARILY contributing to union-endorsed candidates or even a union PAC. It prevents FORCED contributions, and that is the issue.
James Alan Jones September 04, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I don't know how many of the people in here making anti union statements have actually ever been a member of a union. I was a member as well as an elected official in the UAW here in San Diego. We never forced members to donate to anything. We had political donations and employees had to sign up for them to be taken from their pay.They could also opt out of them. With the supreme court declaring corporations " people " and a room full of billionaires deciding who our elected official are going to be, the labor unions are the last line of defense for the middle class.
James Alan Jones September 04, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Well said Ed...
Beeswax September 04, 2012 at 09:20 PM
It doesn't allow unions to contribute period. They could have easily worded it allow members to opt out of that portion of union deductions and left it at that. They chose not to and if this passes, then unions will not be able to contribute as an organization. However, corporations and super PACS will still be able to throw their money around however they choose. It's not right.
B-Cat September 04, 2012 at 09:51 PM
WOW, It sounds like "Yes we have no bananas" Just a quick point if i may-When one joins a union is it not like joining a political party? When you join or elect a representative of a party do they not both represent your interests? Should a union spend its money on a political party it would be for the good of the membership that perhaps would allow it by law to create a better wage or health benefit condition or even have the right to strike [if all else fails]. There will always be abusers of the system on both sides, its only those that make the headlines create an image for all involved, these things do correct themselves when exposed. Remember joining a union is a choice, and for the average worker it means a voice they would never have had and its understood that monies used for various uses is for their benefit.
Batman September 04, 2012 at 10:00 PM
OK, I stand corrected, prop 32 does prohibit all union contributions AND contributions by corporations and government contractors. Sounds fair to me. A candidate's garnering financial support is part of the selection process in our democracy. Forcing anyone to contribute anything to any political campaign is tantamount to forcing them to vote for a particular candidate or issue, and that is totally un-democratic.
Todd Budde September 04, 2012 at 10:25 PM
"SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE F UP!"…Those are the words that still ring out in my ears from more than 20 years ago. I was about 25. Sitting in my very first Union meeting in California. We were in a Teamsters Hall – about 200 of us in the audience. There were about 5 men sitting in chairs at a long table elevated on the stage. One man in the audience stood up and asked, “We never did get an answer from our last meeting. Where does the interest that is earned from our dues go to?” Immediately a big man on stage stood up and yelled in such a way that it sent chills through my bones, “Sit down and shut the F up!” The man in the audience sat down. That was the end of that. And that is where I learned that the unions are corrupt, dangerous, and act as though they are above the law. Down with the union, I say! Most people that work for the unions get paid more than they are worth. And those who run the unions are corrupt, self-serving individuals who could care less about America and its ability to be competitive in this global market. For certain, unions should be banned from organizing within any government agency.
B-Cat September 04, 2012 at 10:39 PM
greetings citizen-This prop 32 is a win win or a win loose situation. As fair as it sounds that no one should be forced into contributions, i must inject one thought that perhaps might disturb some and that is, Many union members, perhaps new ones that do not know or understand the political process or are to gullible as to what management says to them but actually means otherwise, should have those that will look out for them in their best interests. Monies that on the outset that seem to be used for union interests are monies [votes] for the betterment of all. No one is forcing a union on you, refusal is an option. So this prop. 32 is a catch 22 so to speak in certain ways. It seems to be worded in a way that makes it almost un-American to have someone [union] looking out for the little guy. I am still at this time monitoring the pros and cons of it, Im sure there are lawyers figuring out ways on how to manipulate all this no matter which way it goes. thank You.
B-Cat September 04, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Yea, you had one of the bad ones, sorry to hear that. I did not, and in my retirement now am receiving everything that was promised to me, even better than i had thought it would be, thanks to the union i belonged to. [ No, i was not an official of any kind and received no special treatment] I must admit some suspicion over the years but our union put on the table everything to see for everyone to see. At union meetings no one ever said sit down and shut up no matter how ridiculous the question. That is the experience you should have had but did not and as previously mentioned i really feel sorry for you that it happened at all, it shouldnt. [although it seems to have] made you feel that all unions are as bad as the one you had to deal with, but i do understand your resentment. My Union was the International Printing Pressmans Union of North America, local 2. Im very proud to say. Thank You.
Bruce Kesler September 04, 2012 at 11:03 PM
In brief, let's get some particulars of current labor law straight: If a majority elect a union to represent them then that union represents all the workers in the bargaining unit, even those who voted against being part of that union. The union can collect dues from everyone in the bargaining unit for the operation of the union's representation and for the union's political actions, but the individual member can opt out of paying the portion of the dues devoted to political uses. (Never mind that the accounting of which part of dues goes where may rival Hollywood's accounting practices.) Instead, with Proposition 32, as with the proposition that passed in Wisconsin, the union member will choose whether to opt in to contribute to the union's political fund. In Wisconsin, those participating in the unions' political action funds dropped by up to 50%. Making a voluntary choice to contribute or not obviously appears less forced than being forced and then having to face up to the stewards and opt out.
just my opinion September 05, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Donating to the union is a choice. They do not take any money out without your permission.
BP September 05, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Union political spending now exceeds all direct donations!! Check this link: http://www.npr.org/2012/07/11/156599124/weekly-standard-unions-political-spending-explodes Billions are spent that is not reported to the election board, because it is not directly channeled to federal campaigns and lobbying. They are spending 4 times what had previously been thought, because they did not disclose the facts. "The new figures come from a little-known set of annual reports to the Labor Department in which local unions, their national parents and labor federations have been required to detail their spending on politics and lobbying since 2005." This transparency requirement (for everybody) passed by the Bush administration is now under attack by the Obama administration, and his labor secretary Hilda Solis has rolled back some requirements and is not enforcing others. Unions had their very important place place many years ago, then they drove many of this nation's manufacturers out of business, or nearly so. Steel, pottery, textiles, automotive... Nobody should be forced to join a union in order to work, they should not be forced to vote for or against union participation without a secret ballot (card-check) and if in a union, they should not have ANY of their money contributed to causes they don't personally endorse.
Kay Kardian-Porter September 06, 2012 at 07:05 PM
I have worked for with a union co. and it was good..but today the unions are not like they were years ago. Today there is creed and they do have their own way of forcing people to join unions. My goodness if you went to work for a union co. and you did not join the union you were in deep sljsjfksj...but I think over the years they have become corrupt and support the governement. They were one of Obamas main supporters..
Chris September 11, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Once upon a time unions had a meaningful place in working class life--when companies had no leash with which they could be reigned in. Norma Rae championed the ideal of workplace standards in favor of the employee, where especially in that century of burgeoning industry leading up to the necessity of organized change, the welfare and safety of employees became paramount. That time is well past. We now enjoy federal as well as state laws to protect a worker's rights to fair treatment, governing overtime for hours worked, and standards of workplace safety. For that I say thank you to those of the past; however unions are antiquated and in many regards the reason that society is going to hell in a handbasket. Unions breed a culture of expectant entitlement in their members. Prime example- Teachers' unions. Teachers have become so blase about the job that they will strike if the union gives the word. I know what hardships teachers face when it comes to providing materials for their students, as very few schools will put out money for classroom supplies; that is an expectation of the job, and therefor is not an acceptable excuse for complaint(that is why tax deductions exist). Teachers who strike leave their students to suffer because they are selfish. Those who make career choices such as teachers, police, and fire fighters do so because they feel a sense of duty and want to make a difference, and they do get paid for it. They should not be allowed to strike. Limit union power.
Batman September 11, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I agree with this 100%
Mary September 11, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Chris- Why you believe that teachers providing classroom supplies “is an expectation of the job, and therefor[e] is not an acceptable excuse for complaint” is beyond comprehension. A tax deduction does not compensate for the personal outlay the teachers make. Any business person who is required to travel expects 100% reimbursement for expenses incurred. Teachers are exactly who you want to fight for the rights of the students. They are with them everyday and know what would help them become the educated citizenry we expect our country to develop. Unions are still needed because too many are unwilling to pay for the services we expect and take for granted. Profit and personal greed have caused many working families to still live in poverty.
Kay Kardian-Porter September 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I agree with Todd, after all look at the history of all the union bosses and how corrupt they were..some of them were actually in prison...and i'm sure the corruption is still going on just in a more corporate style...Thats the union creed!!!
Mary September 11, 2012 at 05:54 PM
@KKP If I look at political history in the U.S. there were many corrupt politicians, and some actually went to prison. Should we do away with all Government? There is corruption everywhere, doesn't mean you "throw the baby out with the bathwater."
Kevin George September 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Hmmmm.....I just scoured my pocket Constitution for the " establishment of unions" clause and came up short........ can you show it to me Mary?
Mary September 11, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Falls under the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Kevin George September 11, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Ummmmm........ that's the Declaration of Independence. But that is a common mistake of the " half cocked". You would have sounded more informed if you have gone for the "promote the public welfare" like the other socialists. Because that IS in the Constitution. You should read it sometime.
Mary September 11, 2012 at 06:43 PM
My Bad! How about Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, or of the press; or THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Chris September 11, 2012 at 08:13 PM
If only teachers WOULD fight for students rights! The hall says strike, and they leave the students to fend for themselves. If they truly cared one lick about their students education or future they would stay in the classroom and do their jobs. I agree that teachers have a burden, but they go into the career KNOWING that the burden exists and are willing to accept it; so no it is not an acceptable excuse for complaint. Educate our teachers on their responsibility to our society and they will realize how selfish unions have made them. Unions are corporations, and like any other corporation they want to make profits. They don't care about their members except for the dues that come out of their wallets--only so long as those dues keep rolling in. Their own "profit and personal greed" are what keep them in business. Unions are unnecessary and should be outlawed; workers' rights are protected and guaranteed on federal and state levels. If issues arise, go to your local liberal in office--I'm sure they'll "hope" they can "bring change". Martial Law had its place in history too, and it can even now be argued that it should be imposed to insure domestic tranquility and ensure our "educated citizenry" be protected from the mobs of uneducated sheep that public school, as unions would love to propagate, turn out on a yearly basis('No child left behind'). The dumber a society is, the greater is the need of a union to "help" and "guide" them so the next generation of idiots can join.
Whisky Foxtrot September 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM
There is no basis for that statement. Stop believing Rush and Faux News just 'cause they say it. Find out if it's true first. They do not have your best interest at heart (unless you are in the 1%, of course)
Whisky Foxtrot September 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Remember, under "trickle down" economics - even by their own naming of it, the best anyone besides the boss can hope for, is a 'trickle'
Kay Kardian-Porter September 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM
faux news is a very popular news source their ratings are way up there..so so someone is watching lots of faux news.
Amy Baker October 31, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Then I guess "just my opinion" won't have a problem voting yes on Prop 32?
Amy Baker October 31, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Thank you!!! Ironic isn't it. While those people were exercising their new right of "opting out", their union was using the money they had already taken from those union members to try and make it so those union members COULD NOT "opt out". Let us not forget that unions represent unions. They are there to insure the survival of the union, not the union worker. EVERY TEACHER I HAVE TALKED TO IS VOTING YES ON 32.
PwmCwzy October 31, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Amy - Every teacher I know is voting NO on 32 and yes on 30.
AnnieB November 06, 2012 at 12:04 AM
I used to belong to the teachers union....only bc they "strong-armed" me into doing so. When I was a new teacher, I remember a union representative showing up in my classroom basically saying things like, " if you don't sign up with us, we won't be there for you if you get sued", and "everyone signs up to be in a union. If you don't you will be nothing." Geesh! I was young and impressionable at 22. If I knew then what I know now, I would have NEVER joined the teachers union. It was such a WASTE of my money!!! I hate unions and all that they represent.


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