The California Farm Bureau (CFB) held a rally outside the state Capitol on Sept. 9 to protest Assembly Bill (AB) 616, which recently passed the state Senate and is on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) desk.
AB 616 would replace secret-ballot elections for union organizing with a “card check” system, according to CFB. A card check certification allows a majority of employees to sign authorization forms—cards—expressing their desire to be represented by a union.
The Department of Labor recently released data for the third quarter on the H-2A temporary farmworker program. Although third quarter numbers dropped below 2021’s first and second quarters and 2020’s third quarter, total H-2A positions through the year are still higher than a year ago.
“The Senate eliminated the farm employees’ right to choose, for themselves, whether they want to have a portion of their paycheck deducted and sent to a union,” said CFB President Jamie Johansson.
“The fact is that there will be farm employees who show up to work one day only to find that they are part of a union without ever having an opportunity to voice their own desire.”