Those public-sector union workers have become a political target as state and local governments struggle through fiscal crises. Whitman, for one, has called for laying off 40,000 in the state's workforce.
Andrea Jones Rivera, a spokeswoman for Whitman, said in a statement Monday that "Jerry Brown is bought and paid for by the government unions who stand directly opposed to the meaningful change we desperately need in Sacramento. Brown has outsourced his campaign to the government unions. If he's elected, what does their $14 million investment in his campaign get them in return, exactly what they want? California cannot afford a Jerry Brown third term."
Brian Seitchik, spokesman for the California Republican Party, said: "It should be no surprise that the Democrats spent Labor Day kissing the rings of their party's real boss: government unions."
Private sector union jobs are disappearing, as The Los Angeles Times reports:
The recession is taking a toll on union jobs, which are disappearing in California at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country, according to a UCLA study published Monday.
In the 12 months ending in June, the union membership rate dropped from 18.3% to 17.6% in California and from 12.4% to 12.1% nationwide, the study found. The drop was most acute in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino, where unionization rates fell from 17.5% to 16.5%.
The loss of union jobs has wiped out two years of gains, putting membership rates in the U.S. and California back to around 2007-08 levels, said Lauren Appelbaum, director of the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and the report's lead author.