One of the focus areas for the Western Labor Coalition is to be an advocate for the labor provider community. This area will feature updates on pending legislation, rule making and regulation development that directly impacts the business of providing labor to keep the economy going.
SB 104 is the Card Check legislation authored by Senator Darrell Steinberg (Sacramento) and sponsored by the United Farm Workers (UFW). The bill proposes to be an alternative to secret ballot elections for unionization of a farm worker labor force. In reality, the bill would make it easier for the union to bypass the election by simply having workers sign cards in lieu of holding a proper election. Should the union recieve a simple majority of cards in favor of unionization they could turn those into the Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB) and within 5 days the ALRB would be required to render the majority card sign up valid in lieu of an election. Should the ALRB find that the cards are not sufficient, the union can be given time to secure more cards. In addition, the bill also includes severe fines and penalties for farmers and employers who are scene as interferring with the unionization process.
The Western Labor Coalition is opposed to SB 104 on the basis that this bill would effectively remove the farm workers right to a secret ballot election and the true and fair democratic process in selecting representation. The bill has been passed on party lines through the Legislature.
Status: On Wednesday June 29, 2011, Governor Brown vetoed SB 104 noting it would make radical chanes to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Act (ALRA) which he signed into law during his first Administration.