Re "Union Foes Use State as Key Battleground," March 22:
Unions already allow members to "opt out" of paying the portion of their dues that goes to political action, upon joining the union or any time after they have already joined. What Prop. 226 does is put into place a mass of bureaucratic red tape that makes union members sign a form printed by the government every year authorizing payment for political action, thus wasting union members' dues money collecting authorizations. Prop. 226 would effectively eliminate the voice of the working people of California, union and nonunion workers alike, from politics. The political process works better if there is an informed dialogue.
What about the fairness of the proposition? Is it fair that big business silences working families in the political process, while big business (which outspends unions in political campaigns by 11 to 1) is given free rein to oppose legislation that affects all working people, like minimum wage, overtime, Social Security, Medicare, retirement benefits, etc.? Proposition 226 supporters--and most of the support money is coming from out of state big business interests--are not interested in fairness.
Vice Chair, Bargaining Unit 9
California State Employees Assn.