It’s no secret that people are leaving California in droves, whether to escape high crime, high taxes, or a high cost of living.
And most Arizonans likely know that their home state is one of the primary destinations for Golden State expats.
From 2019 to 2021, the surge of Californians moving to Arizona were also leaving behind the state’s politics and politicians, and that included then-California Labor Secretary Julie Su.
Ms. Su spent her tenure there wrecking the livelihoods of countless Californians on behalf of the union bosses who demand the power to force everyone to pay union dues just to keep a job.
President Biden has now nominated Su to be the next U.S. Secretary of Labor.
If confirmed, it’s likely she will work to spread that same radical California labor policy to Arizona and nationally.
Arizonans shouldn’t stand for the "Californization" of their state.
The Grand Canyon State has become a destination for a reason, and if Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., wants to preserve that attractive environment, she will reject Su’s confirmation.
As secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Su was infamous for cracking down on independent contractors through her aggressive enforcement of Assembly Bill 5. AB5 subjects workers to a flawed and biased "ABC test" to falsely and forcibly reclassify many independent contractors as statutory employees.
Unlike independent contractors, traditional employees are subject to unionization.
In non-Right to Work California, unionized workers can be forced to pay union dues.
This creates a vicious cycle where union bosses, funded by forced union dues, promote politicians who push policies designed to further enlarge union coffers.
Most independent contractors say they do not want to become employees, value the flexibility independent contracting affords, and certainly aren’t interested in being forced to pay union dues.
More than one million freelance workers lost work in the wake of AB5’s passage.
In response to public outrage, the California legislature carved out scores of politically connected professions from the draconian legislation so that it no longer applied to musicians, translators, writers, photographers, and many others.
But big labor’s main targets – independent truckers and the gig economy – are still suffering from AB5’s harsh policy.
Even the notoriously left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has suggested that AB5’s sponsors and enforcers may have had no legitimate policy objectives in mind when granting exemptions to AB5, and instead acted out of "animus" by targeting companies that facilitate vast swaths of independent contracting.
Arizona is a Right to Work state, meaning union bosses can’t force workers to pay union dues or fees just to keep their jobs.
However, one of the Biden Administration’s top policy goals is the so-called "PRO-Act," which would destroy all state Right to Work laws in the country.
If that succeeds alongside Su’s mission to take AB5 nationwide as labor secretary, freelancing Arizonans will soon find themselves forced to subsidize union hierarchies they never wanted or asked for.
And all that is to say nothing of the gross mismanagement that Californians experienced while Su was in office: The Los Angeles Times declared a "crisis" after Su distributed nearly $20 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to fraudsters and criminals while many small businesses couldn’t get relief from the state’s harsh lockdown.
Even if that was merely incompetence, Su’s championing of AB5 can only be called an abuse of power.
The Biden administration sees California as a model, not a warning.
That’s a problem for Arizona, and one that Sen. Sinema is in a unique position to prevent by voting "no" on Su’s confirmation.
The approaching Senate floor vote will likely be decided by the tiniest of margins.
Su’s mix of cronyism and forced-unionism ideology is another ingredient in a Biden recipe for economic disaster at a time when Arizonans and all Americans are fearing for their jobs and the economy.
Sen. Sinema should lead her fellow senators in stopping the Su confirmation.
Mark Mix is president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the National Right to Work Committee. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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