Lowell Goodman is communications specialist at SEIU 721.

Slice of Wisconsin Comes to So-Cal

On Monday, Riverside County supervisors voted unanimously to dramatically reduce retirement benefits for all newly hired employees. The move won't save the county a dime in the short term. It won't help balance the county's budget. It won't keep vital services operating. And it probably isn't even legal.

So why do it?

The county supervisors' unilateral action is nothing more than a naked attack on workers' rights. That's because the move won't affect current pension obligations. What's more, given the economy, the county is unlikely to hire new employees anytime soon. So there's no good justifications for the move. As one county employee put it, it's just a “back-sided attempt to break our union.”

If this sounds familiar, it's because the Riverside supervisors' action is a carbon copy of what anti-worker Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rammed through his state legislature last month.