U.S. Supreme Court Announces Ruling Under California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act; California Fresh Fruit Association and Western Growers Comment
IRVINE & FRESNO, CA - The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in a 6–3 decision that, under the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), union organizers’ access to come onto the private property of farmers and landowners to promote the union violates the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid.
“Today’s ruling involving Cedar Point Nursery and CFFA member Fowler Packing protects the constitutional rights of agricultural employers and brings the ALRA access rule into alignment with the National Labor Relations Act,” said Ian LeMay, President of the California Fresh Fruit Association. “For 45 years, California's farmers have seen their property rights ignored by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board by allowing organizers onto their property. No other industry in the United States, including California, has had to allow union organizers onto their property in a similar manner. We appreciate both Fowler Packing and Cedar Point’s efforts in leading the fight to restore the same property rights that are enjoyed by all other industries in the United States to California farmers.”
Western Growers President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Puglia also issued a statement backing the Supreme Court’s decision.
“This is a simple property rights case. States cannot take private property without just compensation, and property owners have the fundamental right to exclude trespassers,” Puglia said. “We applaud the Supreme Court for protecting the notion of private property rights as envisioned in our Constitution. We also commend Cedar Point Nursery, Fowler Packing Company, and the Pacific Legal Foundation team for seeing this case through to its unequivocal conclusion.”
A press release also included a statement from Chief Justice John Roberts.
Roberts, who authored the opinion, highlighted multiple reasons for the Supreme Court’s recent ruling.
“Unlike a mere trespass, the regulation grants a formal entitlement to physically invade the growers’ land. Unlike a law enforcement search, no traditional background principle of property law requires the growers to admit union organizers onto their premises. And unlike standard health and safety inspections, the access regulation is not germane to any benefit provided to agricultural employers or any risk posed to the public,” Roberts explained.
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