Monday, May 15, 2006

Prop.82 and the Gap

Prop. 82: Initiative backers threaten Gap boycot
By Laura Mecoy -- Bee Los Angeles Bureau
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, May 12, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Employing a new political tactic, two large labor unions are using the threat of a consumer boycott to try to curb corporate contributions to groups opposing the universal preschool initiative on the June ballot.
The Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sent a letter last week threatening a national boycott of all of the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores.
They said they would launch the boycott if the Gap, its affiliates or any members of the family that founded the Gap donated to groups opposing actor and director Rob Reiner's preschool initiative, Proposition 82.
"It is our hope that you come to the conclusion that opposing preschool for every child in California is bad for kids and bad for California," said the letter, signed by SEIU's and AFSCME's presidents and SEIU's secretary treasurer.
The two unions, AFSCME and SEIU, represent more than 2.7 million members nationwide. They are likely to gain more members if Proposition 82 is approved because it would allow collective bargaining among those working in the preschools the initiative would fund.
In their letter, they cited a $25,000 donation made by John Fisher, one of the sons of the Gap's founders, to one group fighting Proposition 82.
They also cited a second organization opposing the initiative, the California Business Roundtable, saying the Gap is a "leading member" of it.
None of the Fisher family members returned calls seeking comment.
Don G. Fisher, who founded the Gap, serves on the Business Roundtable's board, and he, his wife and his son, Robert Fisher, serve on the Gap's board. But John Fisher is not a member of the Gap's board.

From Politics at the Sacramento BEE.

Don G. Fisher,of the GAP, has been on the California State Board of Education where he is a major proponent, funder, of charter schools.
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