California Fresh Fruit Association's Barry Bedwell Discusses His Support for Assemblyman Jim Patterson's AB 1389
SACRAMENTO, CA - California Fresh Fruit Association President Barry Bedwell has commented on Assemblyman Jim Patterson's AB 1389 and its failure to pass the Assembly Employment and Labor Committee.
AB 1389 was originally written as a response to the Agriculture Labor Relations Act, which many believed stripped farmworkers of their rights. For more information on the bill, visit http://www.givethemtheright.org/, but essentially, AB 1389 sought to do the following:
- Require employees to ratify the terms of a contract imposed by a state mediator.
- Ensure employees have the right to attend and participate in state mediation hearings.
- Decertify an election if the certified labor organization abandons the employees for three years.
“It is extremely unfortunate and disappointing that in the face of overwhelming support that the bill failed in the Assembly Employment and Labor Committee on a 5-2 party line vote. This result yesterday was not, sadly, unexpected given the influence of unions on the Democratic members of the committee,” said Bedwell in a press release.
More than 25 agriculture organizations from around the state and 200 individuals wrote letters expressing their support for AB 1389, with only 3 organizations expressing opposition (UFW, AFL-CIO, and CRLA).
“We appreciate the efforts of Assemblyman Patterson, his staff, and the almost 100 farm workers who attended yesterday's hearing to express their support for the bill. The testimony given by the farm workers was powerful and heartfelt but there was clearly a lack of respect and interest in what they had to say from the committee majority.”
Bedwell continued that the California Fresh Fruit Association will continue its efforts to promote common sense improvements to the Agriculture Labor Relations Act, through advocacy and outreach to our State Representatives in Sacramento.