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ACA 8 – Assembly, on Third Reading – 6/20/23

Article 1. Section 6 of the California Constitution reads,” Slavery is prohibited. Involuntary servitude is prohibited except to punish crime.” This bill, which we fought valiantly last year and won, is back. It would remove the wording regarding involuntary servitude.

The importance of this constitutional amendment is hidden from view. The target is incarcerated persons at the county and state levels. Involuntary servitude can include everything from requiring inmates to do chores such as cleaning their rooms, kitchen duty, laundry duty, etc., to the volunteer work in prison industries. The volunteer work earns the inmates a low wage which can help their families but also allows them to learn job skills for when they are released.

The most interesting facet of ACA 8 is its connection to the Communist Party USA. When researching this bill last session, I found the exact wording on their website, though it has since been removed. Their intent in removing “involuntary servitude” is clearly to allow inmates to form or join labor unions. This is the Communist/Marxist justification, “…incarcerated workers, like others performing similar labor, should have the legally-protected right to organize, bargain collectively, and engage in other concerted activity aimed at improving their terms and conditions of employment.”

The cost to the state for last session’s bill was ten billion. Our Riverside County Sheriff Bianco said the cost to the county would be measured in the millions. Convicted criminals allowed to unionize is a bad idea that will cost us in more ways than money.


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