This week, the State Assembly passed AB 616 (Stone) and sent the bill to the Governor’s desk for signature. CCM opposes AB 616 as it eliminates due process for employees by removing their right to a secret ballot election for union representation. The bill allows unions to request and receive ballot cards that can be pre-filled by the labor organizer on behalf of the employee. The employee would simply need to sign the pre-filled ballot card, under possible threat or pressure by the union, and the union would submit the card to the Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB)for certification. This is card check.
Currently voting takes place through a secret ballot election at a polling place located at the workplace and supervised by the ALRB. AB 616, or card check, eliminates all transparency in the election process because “voting” would take place offsite and with no third-party oversight, leaving employees vulnerable to undue influence.
Agricultural organizations have come together to oppose AB 616 and continue to meet with the Governor’s office about the industry’s concerns.
Although the bill was passed by both chambers, we thank the Senators and Assembly members who did not vote for AB 616. CCM extends a special thank you to Senators Hurtado (Sanger), Glazer (Orinda), Borgeas (Clovis), and Grove (Bakersfield) for their exceptional testimony against the bill on the Senate Floor. We further wish to thank Senator Caballero (Salinas) for her leadership on this issue.
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