Central Valley

Brown Vetos bill for California Farm Workers to Unionize away from fields

CALIFORNIA — Senate Bill (SB) 104 would have permitted California farm workers to unionize by signing a petition away from the fields; however, during the evening of June 28, 2011 Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill.

In 1975, Gov. Brown signed the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) which allowed farm workers to unionize via secret ballots cast on the worksite — the first National Law that allowed collective bargaining rights for farm workers.

Opponents of the bill stated, “that the provisions for increased civil penalties are excessive, possibly unconstitutional, and an undue burden on business,” highlighted the legislative analysis.

In his veto statement Gov. Brown said that, “wide array of opinions and experiences should be fairly considered,” as he wants to “achieve a fair and just result,” to the principles of the ALRA.

"What never changes in politics is power. Governor Brown accepted the arguments made by the powerful agribusiness lobby and rejected the cause of powerless farm workers,” stated Arturo S. Rodriguez President of United Farm Workers

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