Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brown vetos California bill that would have eased farm worker unionization

Jennifer Medina reports in the New York Times on the bill. An excerpt from her story follows:

[T]he United Farm Workers has long pressed for a new way to organize workers, saying that growers use intimidation to stop their employees from joining. The legislation would have allowed the union to simply collect signed petition cards from workers, rather than holding a secret ballot election at farms.

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Similar legislation was vetoed four times in the past four years by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but many supporters assumed they would have support from Mr. Brown, who often speaks about his personal relationship with Cesar Chavez, the venerated founder of the union.

Medina's story quotes Arturo Rodriguez, president of the union:

The fact that he didn’t believe that farm workers need this kind of assistance and change in law is very disappointing. I am angry and I am upset that this governor treated us just like all the rest of the governors.

The bill had easily passed the Democratic-controlled state legislature. Brown vetoed it at 11 pm on Tuesday night, an hour before the bill would have become law. When he was last governor, Brown had helped shape the current law, which permits farm workers to unionize through secret ballot. Brown explained his veto by saying that the bill would have been a “drastic change” to existing labor laws and he was “not yet convinced that the far-reaching proposals of this bill” were merited.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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