Among the dozens of legal briefs filed last week with the California Supreme Court, a coalition of labor unions argued that Prop. 8 should be overturned. The union brief was filed on behalf of numerous affiliates of the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, Communications Workers of America, Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers, and United Steel Workers, as well as the California Nurses Association, the Screen Actors Guild, the California and American Federations of Teachers, and others.
The brief emphasizes that these unions "represent more than two million working men and women in California," then proceeds to attack Prop. 8, which hundreds of thousands of those same men and women voted to approve. The brief claims that Prop. 8 "would strip one class of citizens of a fundamental right." The brief also frets that Prop. 8 leaves vulnerable other fundamental rights, including the right to worship, the right to speak and the right to vote, while failing to mention that all are clearly protected by the federal Constitution.
Brad Dacus, President of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, "We are contacted almost daily by hard-working men and women who are appalled that their mandatory union membership and dues are being used to advance agendas that they strongly disagree with. It is just wrong for unions to forcibly demand hefty dues and then use those funds for extreme causes unrelated to labor, such as advocating against traditional marriage."
Dacus also noted that, under federal law, unions must accommodate employees whose religious beliefs conflict with the unions' moral stances. Such employees are entitled to donate the entire amount of their dues to charity, instead of the union. Pacific Justice Institute is able to help employees through the process of exercising a religious objection to union dues. If you have questions, please visit www.pji.org and submit a request for assistance.