On Saturday, July 28th, over 800 Teamsters gathered at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds to kick off a massive member mobilization against Proposition 32, the “Special Exemptions Act.” Teamsters came from as far away as Redding to Bakersfield, Salinas to Visalia – an area roughly larger than 41 states. View photos of the event here.
This followed a similar kickoff in El Monte in April which was attended by over 1,400 Southern California Teamsters.
Attendees learned how Prop. 32, an initiative on this November’s ballot, is very misleading. The initiative says it will remove “special interest money” from politics, when actually it is riddled with exemptions for corporations and Super PACs. Prop. 32 doesn’t reform the broken system, it actually makes it worse by allowing unlimited corporate spending. Furthermore, Prop. 32 will eliminate the voices of working families and unions in the political process.
Joint Council 7 President Rome Aloise:
Prop. 32 threatens our ability to fight for our wages, our benefits, and our future. This initiative doesn’t fix anything, it’s an attack against unions.
Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, attended the Pleasanton event and issued a call to arms:
Prop. 32 is the first of a one-two punch. The corporate interests behind Prop. 32 want to take us out of politics. Then they can go after our wages, our pensions, our healthcare benefits, and our right to collectively bargain. If Prop. 32 passes, we won’t be able to fight back.
Teamsters left both events armed with voter registration cards. Joint Council 7, which includes over 100,000 members in the Central Valley and Northern California, has already registered over 4,000 members to vote. Joint Council 42, which includes over 125,000 members in Southern California, has registered over 10,000.
Beginning September 15th, Teamsters are deploying 40 rank-and-file members to blitz work sites statewide in a massive member education and mobilization program that will continue through Election Day. Joint Council 7 will also launch a caravan of trucks from Bakersfield up to Sacramento, through the Bay Area and out to Salinas to bring the Prop. 32 fight directly to our work sites.
Randy Cammack, President of Joint Council 42:
Prop. 32 is an attempt to weaken unions. But we’re Teamsters. We stand up and fight.
(Doug Bloch is the political director of Teamsters Joint Council 7. His post first appeared on Labor’s Edge and is republished with permission.)