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.