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Irate state workers union mails strike authorization ballots to members

July 21, 2009 |  1:42 pm

The largest state employee union has mailed strike authorization ballots to its 95,000 members and plans to count the votes Aug. 1.

Union leaders are furious that the budget deal reached by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and top legislators last night would continue the governor’s order requiring workers to take three unpaid furlough days a month.

Yvonne Walker, president of the Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, has threatened to sue the state over the furloughs, and said the governor and legislative leaders should have closed corporate tax loopholes and imposed new taxes on tobacco and oil extraction.

“We’re furious about the failed leadership in Sacramento,” Walker said in a statement. “Their decision shows a lack of political courage to stand up to corporate giants and wealthy special interests.”

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento