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California's Largest State Employee Union OK's Strike Authorization

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Although no strike is reportedly on the immediate horizon, the Service Employees International Union "announced that 74 percent of its membership approved [a] strike authorization in votes counted Saturday," according to, and "union leaders will meet in the coming week to decide what steps to take."

The vote and strike authorization stem from reaction to Gov. Schwarzenegger's "decision to unilaterally furlough state workers three days each month." The furlough days translate into an approximate 14% pay cut for most of the workers, and compromise work schedules, effectively shutting down state government operations three Fridays per month. The three furlough days triple the SEIU's one furlough day as agreed upon in February in their most recent contract negotiations, however the Governor opted to add more in order to help offset the state's massive budget deficit, and signed the budget into law last week.