California Fresh Fruit Association's Ian LeMay Comments on Signing of AB 2183
FRESNO, CA - It was recently revealed to the industry that California Governor Newsom has signed AB 2183 (Stone), a card check legislation that impacts agricultural employees’ rights to an impartial secret ballot election and employers’ due process rights to challenge alleged violations. As we continue to explore the many impacts this will have on agricultural workers and the fresh produce industry overall, the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) recently released a statement outlining the potential impacts of the bill.
“On behalf of the Association, we express our disappointment with the signing of AB 2183 today. Since the veto of AB 616, a similar card check bill last year, there has been zero engagement with the agricultural industry from Governor Newsom and his administration to find a solution that best serves California farm employees,” stated CFFA President Ian LeMay. “AB 2183 will not only eviscerate an employee’s previously sacred right to a secret ballot in a unionization election. It will also erode the property ownership and First Amendment rights of agricultural businesses across California. CFFA is also concerned with the idea of a legislative ‘fix’ to the issues in AB 2183 being drafted behind closed doors with no opportunity for input by all stakeholders. If this is any example of how this bill will be implemented, agricultural employees throughout California will have no say in their future. Today is a sad day for California agriculture and California farmworkers.”
“While the proponents of AB 2183 purported the focus of this bill is on ‘vote-by mail balloting’ for agricultural employees, it is not,” LeMay continued. “Rather, the only beneficiary of AB 2183’s passage is a specific interested party looking to bolster their diminishing relevance. CFFA is disappointed that Governor Newsom succumbed to pressure from leaders in Washington, DC, that voiced support for AB 2183. Their opinion on this issue was unwelcomed and should have had no bearing on his decision.”
LeMay went on in the statement, noting that the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) has long protected the right of agricultural employees to a secret ballot election supervised by the ALRB, free of intimidation and influence by any interested party.
“The enactment of AB 2183 takes away the right to a free and fair election process for all farmworkers and could change how agriculture operates in California going forward,” he concluded.
As we continue to weigh the impacts of this bill, keep reading AndNowUKnow for updates.