Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Politics and Money: An L.A. (Times) Story

Always good to see democracy carried out on terms best for the body politic. In unrelated news, the Los Angeles Times reports this morning:

As Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez sought the endorsement of two major labor unions for his plan to overhaul healthcare in the state, he added several provisions to the legislation sweetening the deal for union members, including millions of dollars for better benefits and worker training.

The changes came soon after the unions donated more than $1 million combined to an initiative sponsored by Nuñez that would extend numerous lawmakers’ terms, including his own.

You knew the deal would benefit officials of the politically powerful Service Employees International Union, and the Times is sure to make note:

The legislation as approved gives unions unilateral authority to create and operate trust funds to provide employee healthcare, taking the power to negotiate away from the county agencies that employ the workers. The amendment was sought by the Service Employees International Union.

A taxpayer advocate was left, reasonably, dissatisfied:

“We were waiting for the payoff to show up,” said Jerry Flanagan, healthcare policy director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit that believes the Nuñez plan will be too expensive for some consumers. “It’s really remarkable, in terms of the express aiming of this money toward two particular unions.”

Categories: Center for Union FactsPolitical Money