The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

California Prop 32:
A Fight between the Two Bosses’ Parties

Oct 15, 2012

In California, Proposition 32, which its sponsors call the “Paycheck Protection” initiative, is a thinly-veiled attack on the ability of union officials to funnel money to politicians. Sure, the text of the proposition makes it sound like it would prohibit both labor unions and corporations from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. But since practically no corporations use payroll deductions for political contributions, the target of this ballot measure is clearly the unions – and also the Democratic Party, which almost always is the party trade union leaders support.

Not surprisingly, this proposition is supported by extremely wealthy donors, like the billionaire Koch brothers, who back Republicans, openly call for breaking unions and are the sworn enemies of working people everywhere.

And it’s not a surprise that union leaders and Democrats oppose it.

But what’s the workers’ interest in all this? In California, with the Democrats in control of all the key positions of the state government and most of the big municipal governments as well, officials have ceaselessly attacked public sector workers, along with public education, health care, public transportation and support for poor people. At the same time, just like the Republicans, they have handed over ever more money to big business.

So, what the union leaders propose is to vote against Prop 32 so the union officials can continue to use the workers’ money to support just another set of sworn enemies of working people, the ones with the Democratic Party label.

And that is no choice at all.