Union status for farm workers?

September 22, 2011

Farm workers will find it easier to unionize under provisions of a bill awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. [SF Chronicle]

Also awaiting the governor’s approval is a proposed law that would ban the practice of openly carrying unloaded handguns in public. Both bills are among dozens approved by state lawmakers seeking gubernatorial approval.

The farm worker’s bill was particularly contentious, with Republicans balking over an earlier version which Brown vetoed.

“The sad thing is this could have been a bill worked out with agriculture,” said Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres, a grape farmer. “Instead, we end up with language that literally, if I go out and talk to my farm workers and don’t have witness with me, and one wants to claim I did an unfair labor practice, the ALRB will have the power to unionize my ranch, whether my workers want to or not … This is giving too much power to unelected, appointed bureaucrats.”

The state’s powerful gun lobby fought the handgun law, but law enforcement supporters prevailed.

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Good job Jerry! I’m glad to see that during this time when the right is doing what ever they can to destroy unions that we have someone that still cares about the working stiffs of this country. I’m also glad to see that there might be a ban on carrying hand guns. This isn’t the 1800s or Iran, we are supposed to be a civilized society. I can only imagine what people from civilized and more advanced countries ie Japan, Italy etc think when they come over here and see these bozos walking around while packing a pistol. Thank goodness we have commonsense and intelligence back in the state capitol again.

Jerry for president!

But why are police officers and criminals allowed to carry guns whereas law abiding citizens cannot?

So we cant protect ourselves from the gubment or other criminals, why else?. Seriously Typoqueen or somebody that’s a gun ban proponent give us some logic? Were supposed to be a civilized people? well you said it with SUPPOSED TO BE, were not, and that’s why there are jails,murders, and other violent crimes.

Law abiding people should ALL be allowed to carry. Banning guns will NOT make them go away,that’s pure stupidity of the thought process.

I’m not for banning guns, not at all, I’m for gun control. I believe that they should be for sport. Statistically using weapons for protection doesn’t work. People that arm themselves for protection are more likely to hurt themselves than a predator/bad guy. I’m not making that up, it’s a fact. When I think of some of the loonies that I know or that post here carrying a gun it’s frighting. When you see countries that have strict gun control then you also see countries with less gun deaths. When you see countries with no control you see the middle east, I choose the first, the countries that I call civilized.

Owning gun is nothing more than having toolbox, when you need a scewdriver you go to the box, when you need a gun you call 911. So when seconds count help is only minutes away.

I am also for gun control… hold steady, double-tap, re-acquire target… repeat. Perfect control.

(i had to, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, pun intended)

That’s an old one r0y, my mom had a simular sticker on her bumper 20 years ago.

@stopagenda, too bad that it doesn’t work like that in real life.

TYPO I don’t understand it worked for me in real life ……Explain how it works please.

you are one of the lucky few. I understand that you guys don’t like facts but here’s a few:


Wow, we’re right behind Zimbabwe in gun deaths. I’m so proud that we are right there with underdeveloped uneducated countries.

These are some of those pesky stats from the CDC:

In 2007, guns took the lives of 31,224 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.

69,863 Americans were treated in hospital emergency department for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2007.

Between 1955 and 1975, the Vietnam War killed over 58,000 American soldiers – less than the number of civilians killed with guns in the U.S. in an average two-year period.

In the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War, over 4,400 American soldiers were killed. Almost as many civilians are killed with guns in the U.S., however, every seven weeks.

Regions and states with higher rates of gun ownership have significantly higher rates of homicide than states with lower rates of gun ownership.

Where guns are prevalent, there are significantly more homicides, particularly gun homicides.

Firearms were used in 17,352 suicides in 2007, constituting 55% of all gun deaths.

Over 50% of all suicides are committed with a firearm.

On average, 46 gun suicides were committed each day for the years 2001-2007.

White males, about 40% of the U.S. population, accounted for over 80% of firearm suicides in 2007.

A study of California handgun purchasers found that in the first year after the purchase of a handgun, suicide was the leading cause of death among the purchasers.

Firearms were used in 45% of suicide deaths among persons under age 25 in 2007.

More than 75% of guns used in suicide attempts and unintentional injuries of 0-19 year-olds were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.

The risk of suicide increases in homes where guns are kept loaded and/or unlocked.

In 2007, guns were the cause of the unintentional deaths of 613 people.

From 2001 through 2007, over 4,900 people in the United States died from unintentional shootings.

Over 1,750 victims of unintentional shootings between 2001 and 2007 were under 25 years of age.

People of all age groups are significantly more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries when they live in states with more guns, relative to states with fewer guns. On average, states with the highest gun levels had nine times the rate of unintentional firearms deaths compared to states with the lowest gun levels.

A federal government study of unintentional shootings found that 8% of such shooting deaths resulted from shots fired by children under the age of six.

—so you were just lucky

2200 Americans use a gun in self defense everyday


Oppps, Sorry, I accidentally gave you a red. I’m a NRA supporter and I would never give up my hand gun.

When I’m home alone and it’s pitch black out and the critters climb up on my back deck, knocking something over or dislodge small branches out of trees that knock on my window’s or walk along the side of my house on a crackling gravel path outside my bedroom window, I feel perfectly secure. I always know exactly where my weapon is, it’s always loaded, it’s not locked and everybody who knows me knows not to sneak into the house as a joke. Chances are 99.9% that I wouldn’t shot them by accident but I have that .01% covered – they know, “enter unbeknown to the owner at your own risk”

I sleep well……


Criminals aren’t supposed to carry guns but they’re so easy to get in this country that of course they have them.

I agree, guns are much easier to get for some reason…

Yes that way and in the parking lots at gun shows, they’re pretty easy for any nut to get.

Not True

You’re right, it’s just as easy to get them in the gun shows as it is in the parking lots,,,my bad. Learn something if you wish, watch the video:



I watched the video, thanks, this is the way free people buy protection. The B.A.T.F should be a convenience store,not a government agency.

Tell that to the Az Congress woman and the teacher that was killed the other day, are those the free people that you’re talking about? So we have to live in fear of crazy people, I get it, they’re free and we’re not. So you feel that every nut should have ‘free’ access to a firearm. Can’t argue with that thinking or lack of.


“Criminals aren’t supposed to carry guns ”


The prohibition against carrying guns are for law abiding citizens, NOT CRIMINALS!

Willie what are you doing? it is against the law for a felon to have a gun I think it is a serious offense .


I understand what your saying but I trying to get others to see the other side more realistically, if criminals were to obey the law, it would be different.

Laws are made for honest people NOT criminals

The problem willie is that guns are too easy to get. I don’t care if law abiding citizens have them. I just think that there should be some middle ground here. There is no good reason for someone not to be able to wait for a cooling off period as well as getting a background check. It should be as hard to get a gun as it is a passport.


Criminals and mental cases will not abide by prohibition against carrying a gun (IT NEVER HAVE), it only bars law abiding citizens.

With the proper orientation and training (and of course background check), a citizen allowed by law to carry a gun is just as responsible as a LE officer.

The need critera limited to a few does not provide security to others in a world where crime is random.

We disagree because our experiences and exposure or simply awareness differ.

willie, there are strict control laws in other countries and it works, they are able (for the most part) to keep the guns out of the hands of the mental cases.

I’ve have had a lot of experience with firearms, I used to teach gun safety for the 4H through the NRA. I used to shoot almost every day as I was growing up, I have bad hearing because of it. I shot in tourneys at Harrah’s, every year our family walked away with all of the prizes at every turkey shoot, my mom held some impressive pistol titles. While growing up we had guns under our beds and in every corner. I’m not against banning them. As I got older and started reading the news and the stats I realized that firearms should be for sport and only for sport except under certian circumstances. When reading the stats I learned that those that keep guns for protection are more likely to be injured, injure someone else by accident or have their firearm for used for suicide than it will be used for protection. So IMO this mindset of having a gun for protection doesn’t fly. I’m not trying to take guns away from people, I just believe we need to be careful as to who gets them.

Regarding LE carrying guns. Some shouldn’t as they are as crazy as the people that they are arresting. But for obvious reasons they must carry guns and are supposedly well trained with firearms.


Thank you for having a heart to elaborate.

My wife and kids have simular positions as you with guns and unions (rights).

Their differences with me or your differences with me are simular in nature-I see it as a “guys thing”

In that when frightened by danger, they yell “dad” or immediately run behind papa for protection – thus the reason I am pro CWP.

willie, we don’t always agree but you are a nice guy and deserve a respectful response.

This a ban on open-carry unloaded not a total ban, more liberal nonsense.

The right of the people to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed.

armed bear

@all of you gun carrying cowboys,

More of the same ole NRA righty wacko crazy talk. And please, what ever you people do, don’t try to advance, don’t try to progress and what ever you do, move backwards in time. Don’t use your brains just follow in lockstep with the same old righty mantras,,I mean what a shame it would be if you actually came up with an intelligent original argument to carry guns. People from other countries hear this stuff and think that we are bunch of adults acting like children playing cowboys of the 1800s. How funny that we have such high suicide and murder by gun deaths compared to civilized countries and that’s how you chose to live, it’s kinda weird. It’s no wonder your people cheered when Perry bragged about how many people he’s killed with your death penalty. Whoo, let’s kill kill kill,,{singing} bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iraq. No wonder that Bush was never able to use diplomacy or talk like an adult, you all think a like.

Why does it have to be all or nothing? Many of us aren’t for banning guns we just don’t want the sideshowbobs of the world walking around with guns and statically we have good reason to want that. But with you people there is no compromise, it’s all or nothing. You’re like a bunch of babies that want it all and will cry and stomp your feet till you get it. If it were up to you all then all of the guys like the guy that killed his wonderful mother would be armed, no control right?

So, becuase we have The Bill of Rights in the United States we are not a civilized country?


“we have someone who cares for the working stiffs of this country”.

I think it’s the working stiffs of Mexico that Jerry Brown is addressing.

So because they’re from Mexico we should exploit them, they’re below being called working stiffs because they are doing the work that white people won’t do IN THIS COUNTRY. They are working in this country but because they are from another country they should be treated like sh*t?

Exploitation would end if ag farmers used E-Verify . wages may improve because farmers could have access to unexploitble non-union American labor. I remember Sen. Boxer saying and I quote”these are the peolpe that come here to clean our toilets” is that exploitation?

It’s not exploitation if they are being paid a fair wage and they want to do it.

They should not be exploited. Paying less and providing no benefits not only hurts US workers, but hurts our communities . If farmers can’t hire legal workers, then they need a worker program like Canada’s, and guess what, they could set these up themselves through ag coops like they have in the valley.

As long as we keep paying unemployment insurance on a continuing basis, we are not going to get people to take these jobs. You are right. And as long as farmers are able to get away with paying less with no benefits, they will expand their profits on the backs of the laborers.

I think the answer is to enforce the hiring laws with large fines, and use e-verify to

to ensure legal workers.

Jerry Brown is going the other way and pushing unionization and rights for illegals.

I’m not sure how e verify works better than the checks being done presently by farmers. I know that most of the farmers check SS and file all the reg. forms for new hires. Also the farmers that I know do pay a good wage. Did you read Mr. Salisbury’s article? He can’t get anyone to pick his grapes and he pays a good wage. One would think that for $11.00 bucks an hour you’d have Poly wogs/Poly dollies and DeVauls residents lined up for those jobs, but they’re not. Americans have been raised to believe that they are above that. Anyway, the farmers are scrutinized regarding their hiring practices. The illegal people are able to get fake documentation, that’s not the farmers fault. I do agree that we need worker programs, that might help this problem. But if don’t legalize pot and do something about the drug problems that are responsible for the violence along with their corrupt govt. which in turn hurts Mexico’s economy then they will continue to come here. As much as it doesn’t seem fair we need to help Mexico to keep their citizens from wanting to leave.

I feel that Jerry is doing the right thing, everyone deserves basic human rights.

Once people are here and have worked in the fields and know how to get benefits (anchor babies, false documentation, etc.), they will not want to be farm laborers either. You have to keep the illegals coming over the border to satisfy the needed supply of farm labor. If you had a worker program, you could accomplish the same thing without overwhelming the US.

While I don’t have any working guns anymore, I feel sorry for the sap that tries to come in my home without one with intentions to harm or rob us. However, Typo, don’t be fooled by Jerry Brown. I know you are liberal based on your comments but to let the unions run this country is just plain wrong. Unions force employers to keep non-productive workers employed which hurts their bottom line and prevents them from increasing production and hiring even more workers. Unions were good 70 years ago to get some stabilization of wages. Today, all unions do is protect the lazy employees and forces employers to pay them more than they are worth. Just like we are paying the state correctional officers way too much money and benefits and their union is holding us hostage. The unions will be the fall of this country, just watch.

Of course we will never see eye to eye on this. I agree that some unions aren’t so good. But not all unions are created equal. Thank goodness for the teachers union in the LMUSD, without them the teachers would all be on food stamps and/or welfare, and that’s before this depression/recession that was when the district was doing pretty good financially. I know this, I marched with the teachers in protest. Without a good union 3 of the districts best principals would have been fired. With one business I had problems with carpenters unions in other states but the unions are only as good as the people that elect them. The unions are the people so by hating the unions you are hating the working people in those unions.

I feel we still need unions, again not all unions are good but IMO most are. This recent supermarket issue is a great example of a union doing what it’s supposed to do. They negotiated and it sounds as if both sides are happy with the outcome.

Unions will make out big here. They can force field workers to join, take part of their wages, then watch the prices go up in the grocery stores. The consumers will pay as usual. And please don’t reply about “open shops”. Try working in any company that has a union. Either you join, or you don’t have a job.

This is a huge potential cash cow for the money grubbing union thugs and an excellent opportunity for the liberal democrats to line the pockets of their party and garner more votes. With the growing hatred of unions nationwide, it’s like a sinking ship, the rats have to run somewhere.

Not to mention the posible ability to lavish a status change on ILLEGALs (just by being an American Union member)who are the bulk of all farm workers.

With the growing hatred of unions nationwide

we have to blame someone for the economic failure of Voo Doo economics , may as well be what is left of the middle class. and the working joe,