The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 22, 2012
Reading, writing, arithmetic -- and labor union achievements?

Oops!

A Democrat-dominated Legislature that wants students to learn about the accomplishments of labor unions apparently goofed a decade ago in designating the first week in April as Labor History Week, which urges schools to commemorate it.

That week is Spring Break in many school districts, so students are neither attending classes nor applauding unions.

Solution?

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson has proposed Assembly Bill 2269 to replace and expand upon Labor History Week with a Labor History Month. The date to honor it would be moved from April to May.

Swanson's bill would encourage schools to "commemorate this month with appropriate educational exercises that make pupils aware of the role the labor movement has played in shaping California and the United States."

Swanson, an Alameda Democrat who chairs the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, has crafted a fact sheet for AB 2269 that touts labor unions' role in protecting workers rights in areas ranging from an eight-hour day to mandatory meal and rest periods.

"Unions work in many ways to advance the interest of working people, including collective bargaining, legislative advocacy, political action and organizing," the fact sheet says.

Labor unions are known for one other key thing in the left-leaning Capitol: Spending millions to bolster campaigns of pro-union Democrats and ballot measures in statewide elections.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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