Org urges its members in CA to vote against measure

SAG-AFTRA has come out strongly against California’s Proposition 32 and is urging its 70,000 members in the Golden State to vote against the campaign finance reform measure on the November ballot.

The performers union will send an email message to members on Thursday, asserting that the proposition — dubbed the “Paycheck Protection” initiative — is aimed at curbing the political influence of unions by the banning the orgs from donating funds to political candidates and campaigns.

Prop. 32 is the most anti-worker measure to appear on the California ballot in recent years, and threatens the jobs, wages, retirement and contracts of workers statewide,” the union said. “It seeks to restrict unions’ rights to speak out on behalf of their members. If passed, Prop. 32 will effectively leave union members in the entertainment and media industry at the political mercy of corporate interests that will inevitably attempt to curtail important workplace protections.”

The measure would ban both corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates along with banning contributions by government contractors to the politicians who control contracts awarded to them and banning automatic deductions by corporations, unions, and government of employees’ wages to be used for politics.

But SAG-AFTRA, on its web site at http://www.sagaftra.org/stopprop32, disputed the claims by backers of Prop. 32.

“Although Prop. 32 claims corporations would also be banned from this practice, the reality is corporations rarely use payroll deduction for politics — they use their profits,” the site said. “With the special exemptions allowed in in Prop. 32, corporate special interests would have unlimited spending power for political campaigns through powerful Super PACs, while unions would have none.”

Matthew Kimbrough, co-Secretary Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, said the measure is a core issue for all unions in California.

“It is critical that our members understand that muzzling the union’s voice in politics opens the door for anti-union forces to wreak havoc with our daily lives,” he added. “From collective bargaining, to working conditions to benefits, we would no longer be a part of the debate.”

Gabrielle Carteris, national VP, noted that all SAG-AFTRA California local boards voted to oppose the proposition.

“It shows that while we do not endorse or contribute to candidates or parties, our leadership understands that there are issues central to unionism that are important tospeak out on,” she said. “Proposition 32 is clearly an issue that would directly and negatively affect the lives of SAG AFTRA members in California.”

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