• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Big Labor Gets Big Benefits in California

    California Governor Jerry Brown (D)

    California Governor Jerry Brown (D)

    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.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Big Labor Gets Big Benefits in California

    1. Jeff, Illinois says:

      But I guess it's just fine when Big Corporations buy legislators who end up helping to pass bills that allow the corporations to exploit american workers.

      • jim says:

        by "exploit", you mean giving them jobs, heath care and retirement benefits in exchange for their time and labor?

        • Jeff, Illinois says:

          No like circumventing environmental regulations that cause workers to be at greater health risk (ex. the coal industry) . . or better to send their jobs to other countries . . or get company tax benefits to relocate to other countries . . or maybe on the docket remove the minimum wage . . or start allowing child labor .. or throw poison pills in legislation for example .. to bring down the postal service . . . . This demonizing of american labor is UNamerican . . .

          • Todd says:

            Or, Jeff, you could exercise your freedom to get a job somewhere else. Noone's holding a gun to your head to work for anyone or any corporation in this country. If you want a real education, try starting your own business of any size (particularly one with employees) and see what its like. I have two businesses myself. I live in Oregon, which means I get to pay business taxes to the state whether I make a profit or not. I specifically designed my businesses to avoid the need for employees because the government makes it too painful to have them.

          • Bullswin says:

            Jeff

            get your facts straight, coal mining is a very safe profession in a dangerous environment, very few fatilities. Look at fatility rates vs construction, farming, and yes even retail.

    2. wardenerd says:

      Jerry Brown was a clown when he was the governor the first time. He is out of touch with the fact that California is not the golden state it once was. It is a haven for freeloaders and it will spend itself into bankruptcy which if allowed the Democratic president will bail out. Productive people are leving the state and if the defense industry gets the castration it deserves those high paying jobs left there will be byebye.

    3. Julia says:

      Let the voters beware.

    4. Anti-Union Bill says:

      Unions use to be important to the working man, now they are nothing more than cash register for corrupt leaders and Dems.

      • Thomas says:

        I am a union member. Let me emphasize that I only joined the union because it was required in order to have my job. I work for a corporation that has a 150-year history of doing whatever it wants to whomever it wants whenever it want using whatever means it deems necessary. The corporate arrogance of this company is simply staggering and is daily displayed by its management, from frontline supervisors up to the boardroom. I am a very conservative person and have never been a fan of unions but I must say in this context the union has fought to provide its members with a good living wage, benefits, and job protection. The age of robber-barons is NOT dead…this company would have us all working for minimum wage if it could and the union stands between us and them.

        • Rob says:

          Why don't you go somewhere else if it's so bad?

        • Bobbie says:

          Really, Thomas. That's what freedom is.

          You don't work for white castle do you? No offense, I just know some people who describe similar treatment from higher ups in the white castle industry. Chicago run, you know.

          • JRV says:

            I don't have a problem with private unions as they are entwined with the success of the corporation. If the unions get too much then the corporation can't compete and goes into bankruptcy, thus no more corporation and no more union.

            The real problem are Public Unions. If the unions ask for more there is no limiting force in government that can or will say no. Gov't goes into financial trouble means they just raise your taxes which all are compelled to pay, thus there is no natural limiting force to the Public Unions like there is in private companies. The only recourse for the average citizen is to leave the country.

            Public Unions take money, then bribe public officials in exchange for votes, who then approve ever larger Public Union wages and benefits. That is a corrupt system and must stop.

    5. Barb says:

      Jeff, The difference is that in the private sector you have options. If I do not like the fees banks are charging, I can change banks. When the government runs the show, it is really a bit more difficult.
      It would be nice to see hard examples of your concern.

    6. TimAz says:

      California has always been controlled by the unions. The good news is after the 2012 election We must allow California to collapse under its union control like so many other private businesses have done over the years through out the rest of America. No more bailouts for California after the 2012 election. We simply cant afford to allow that bastion of socialism to continue at the expense of the rest of Americans.

    7. deserttrek says:

      sadly my california has been decaying over the years. when I had the chance to leave I didn't take it now……
      my area is a great place to live but between regulations, taxes and illegal aliens (yes I say that) things are erroding.
      we have reached the point of 50% +1

    8. NeoConVet says:

      It seems that CA is determined to reduce itself to third world status, in education, utility costs, failing transportation, onerous regulation and a declining population as it's residents flea, taxes and loss of jobs. If the rest of the country needs to see where we are headed if socialist policy is implemented then CA is the example of a failed state.

    9. Ron Van Kirk says:

      Once again, you see I will do anything for a vote!!! No wonder this country is in such bad shape.

    10. Kevhead says:

      The problem with California is that it WILL go bankrupt and expect the rest of the country to bail it out, not unlike Greece and the EU.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×