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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

California expands union rights for agricultural workers

Gavin Newsom signed legislation Thursday that expands union rights for farmworkers
Photo: California Governor's Office

Along with advocates and farmworkers outside the State Capitol, Gavin Newsom signed legislation Thursday that expands farmworker union rights after the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the California Labor Federation agreed in a letter to clarify language to be passed during next year's legislative session to address Governor Newsom's concerns about implementation and ballot integrity.

"California farmworkers are the lifeblood of our state and have a fundamental right to unionize and stand up for themselves in the workplace," Newsom said. "Our state has been defined by the heroic activism of farmworkers, championed by American icons like Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong. California is proud to support the next generation of leaders carrying this movement forward."  

Assemblymember Mark Stone's AB 2183 creates new ways for farmworkers to vote in a union election, including options for mail-in ballots and authorization cards sent to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, in addition to existing in-person voting.

The supplemental agreement between the Newsom Administration, the UFW and the California Labor Federation includes a limit on the number of card check requests over the next five years, and will allow the ALRB to adequately protect worker confidentiality and safety. 

This additional agreement would be codified into law next year and would be supported by both management and the union. 

According to a statement from the Governor's Office, this legislation also builds on the state's action to support workers and promote workplace safety. 

Earlier this year, Governor Newsom signed legislation to empower fast food workers with a new mechanism to enact wage and labor protections to support their health, safety and welfare. 

In turn, in 2021, the Governor enacted legislation to protect warehouse workers from unsafe production quotas and legislation to end the exploitation of piece-rate compensation for garment workers.

Newsom also signed a measure directing Cal/OSHA to create an advisory committee to recommend state policies to protect domestic workers and a bill to ensure that workers with disabilities receive a fair wage. 

You may be interested in: California creates "Alert Feather" to address nation's missing natives crisis

Peninsula 360 Press
Peninsula 360 Presshttps://peninsula360press.com
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