Monday, October 10, 2011

Sacramento Bee: Governor signs farmworker union bill

Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 9, 2011
Gov. Jerry Brown signs farmworker bill
by David Siders

Four months after vetoing labor-backed legislation that would have made it easier to unionize farmworkers - touching off a highly personal, late-night protest at the Capitol - Gov. Jerry Brown announced this evening that he has signed the compromise measure he helped negotiate.

Senate Bill 126, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, gives farmworkers greater protections in organizing disputes with growers, including allowing the state's Agricultural Labor Relations Board to certify a union when it determines grower misconduct affected an election's outcome.

Brown signed the landmark Agricultural Labor Relations Act when he was governor before, from 1975 to 1983, but his June veto tested his relationship with his longtime allies in the United Farm Workers union. The union and legislative Democrats cheered the compromise law.

"This change to existing law is a significant advancement," Steinberg said in a prepared statement. "The idea here is simple - if the Agricultural Labor Relations Board finds employer misconduct affected the results of the election and further determines that it cannot conduct a fair second election, the board may certify the union without further delay. I applaud the Governor for his action."

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