Today [Sept. 28th], alongside advocates and farmworkers outside the State Capitol, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation expanding union rights for farmworkers. This follows the Governor, United Farm Workers (UFW), and the California Labor Federation having agreed in a letter on clarifying language to be passed during next year’s legislative session to address Governor Newsom’s concerns around implementation and voting integrity. “California’s farmworkers are the lifeblood of our state, and they have the fundamental right to unionize and advocate for themselves in the workplace,” said Governor Newsom. “Our state has been defined by the heroic activism of farmworkers, championed by American icons like Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong. California is proud to stand with the next generation of leaders carrying on this movement.” AB 2183 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) creates new ways for farmworkers to vote in a union election, including options for mail-in ballots, and authorization cards submitted to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, in addition to the existing in-person voting process. The supplemental agreement between the Newsom Administration, UFW, and the California Labor Federation includes a cap on the number of card-check petitions over the next five years, and will allow the ALRB to adequately protect worker confidentiality and safety. This additional agreement would be codified into law with a bill next year that would be supported by both the administration and the union. The agreement will be codified with additional legislation next year backed by the union and the administration.
For the full statement, visit the press room here.