A bill has just passed the Assembly (SB 789) and is on its way to the Governor for his signature. This bill will rob farm workers of their democratic rights and cause harm to all employers in agriculture.
The card check bill will allow the unions to force unionization on farm employers by intimidating the employees into signing a paper rather than holding a secret ballot vote. The unions argue that secret ballots allow the employer to intimidate the employees. This this is a lie. The employers never know who voted because it is a SECRET BALLOT.
This bill will force unionization of dairies and farms by simply getting 50% of the employees to sign a form passed around by the union leaders. This really IS intimidation tactics.
Please help stop this injustice to farm workers and their employers and send a letter to Arnold demanding that he VETO SB 789
You can contact Arnold by clicking the link below. Farm Team will instruct you how to send the email or letter.
SEND ARNOLD A LETTER
Please forward this on to your friends and neighbors. This could be the final blow to the already struggling ag industry in California.
My current favorite bumper sticker reads, “If you like foreign oil, you’re gonna LOVE foreign food!”
Contact me if you have any questions.
From CA Farm Bureau
Bill Seeks to Expand Unionization in Ag
Urge a VETO on SB 789
SB 789 passed its final hurdle in the legislature on August 27 and now moves to the Governor for signature or veto. Take action today to urge Governor Schwarzenegger to VETO SB 789 (Steinberg, D-Sacramento) and ensure farm employees maintain their democratic right in deciding on the issue of union representation.
The farm community has worked hard over the last two years to defeat similar bills and we need your help again! Like previous “card check” bills, SB 789 once again tries to strip farm employees of their right to a secret-ballot election.
Secret ballot elections would instead be replaced by a majority sign-up – a process where union representatives provide employees with a card for their signature stating they want the union to be their collective bargaining representative.
Cards are often presented to employees as a mere indication of interest in a union, but if a majority of cards are signed, under this “card-check” employees can be unionized without ever having to vote.
Protect employee choice, urge the Governor to VETO SB 789.
CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE COALITION
August 28, 2009
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
The State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 789 – VETO REQUEST
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
The organizations named below and the employers they represent vehemently oppose
SB 789 (Steinberg, D-Sacramento). This bill would undermine the process that now
guarantees, through secret-ballot elections, a fair vote and the expression of agricultural
employees’ true sentiments on the selection of a collective bargaining representative.
The current provisions of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) are sufficient to
guarantee and protect the rights of agricultural employees, employers and unions.
Enacted in 1975 with the support of labor organizations and several agricultural
employer groups, the ALRA was intended to be and is the nation’s most progressive
labor law. While patterned after the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the ALRA, as
amended, and its regulations, have unique provisions its supporters believed were
necessary to protect farm workers’ rights to choose or refrain from choosing a collective
Some of those unique provisions include a prohibition on voluntary recognition of unions
by employers, secret-ballot elections to be the sole means of choosing representatives,
access by union organizers to a farmer’s private property, a controversial “make-whole”
remedy imposed upon farmers who have bargained in bad faith and, most recently, a
mandatory interest-arbitration provision to ensure the implementation of a labor
contract. Further protecting employee organizational rights is the ability of the
Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) to compel an employer to bargain with a
union where the employer’s pervasive and outrageous conduct during an organizational
campaign has undermined employee support for the union (as evidenced by union-
authorization cards) and precludes the holding of a fair and free election.
SB 789 would strip California farm workers of their fundamental and precious
democratic right in deciding whether they want union representation: Their right to a
secret-ballot election. It would replace private ballots with an unprotected process
called a “majority sign-up election” that, in reality, is not an election at all. To the
contrary, this process is nothing more than a “card check” where union representatives
provide employees with a card for their signature stating they want the union to be their
representative. Upon giving enough signed cards to the ALRB, the union becomes the
employees’ collective bargaining representative.
Execution by employees of union-authorization cards takes place for several reasons. In
some instances, employees legitimately desire that a union represent them. Frequently,
however, employees do not understand the process and sign cards without realizing the
significance of doing so. Or, sometimes they sign cards because of peer pressure or so
as to avoid any further pressure or contact by a union organizer.
This process not only undermines the right of employees to cast their ballots in a
secure, private election booth free from coercion, or the fear of coercion, it also deprives
them of the chance to hear and consider other viewpoints on unionization. Such a
robust dialogue is necessary in a democratic society in order for workers to make fully
informed decisions that will directly affect their livelihoods. Yet, this bill would effectively
deny farm employees both of these important activities.
Accordingly, we oppose SB 789 and respectfully request that you veto this misguided
legislation which would deny farm employees their right to select a collective bargaining
representative by secret-ballot election consistent with the original intent of the
Legislature in 1975.
Agricultural Council of California
California Farm Bureau Federation
Allied Grape Growers
California Grape and Tree Fruit League
California Cotton Ginners Association
California Cotton Growers Associations
Western Agricultural Processors Association
California Association of Winegrape Growers
California Citrus Mutual
California Grain & Feed Association
Debra J. Murdock
California Pear Growers Association
California Seed Association
California Women for Agriculture
William Van Dam
Alliance of Western Milk Producers Paul Kronenberg
Family Winemakers of California
James W. Bogart
Grower-Shipper Association of Central California
Richard S. Quandt
Grower-Shipper Vegetable Association of
Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties
Manuel Cunha, Jr.
Nisei Farmers League
Robert P. Roy
Ventura County Agricultural Association
Western United Dairymen
California Chamber of Commerce
Paso Robles Wine County Alliance
Lodi District Grape Growers Association
Pacific Egg & Poultry Association
California Warehouse Association
California State Floral Association
California Bean Shippers Association
California Association of Wheat Growers
Pacific Coast Renderers Association
Monterey County Vinters and Growers
California Association of Nurseries and Garden Association Centers
cc: The Honorable Darrell Steinberg
Michael Prosio, Office of the Governor
Steffanie Watkins, Labor and Workforce Development Agency