California Citrus Mutual is disappointed in the signing of AB 2183 by Governor Gavin Newsom and the lack of process and engagement by stakeholders in the apparent negotiations that have taken place over the last few weeks.
AB 2183 was sold as a bill to provide agricultural employees the opportunity to vote by mail during union elections. However, the bill was deeply flawed as rightfully pointed out by Governor Newsom before the end of the legislative session. However, rather than veto a flawed bill and request the legislature to send new language next year; the Governor and UFW have negotiated a Card Check bill, eliminating all references to a mail in ballot and essentially eliminating the secret ballot election in agricultural union elections. All of this done behind closed doors without input from stakeholders, the Legislature and the general public. This is a gross abuse of the system and shows utter disrespect for our democratic process.
This action is a far cry from the Governor’s veto message of AB 616 in 2021 where he called for “a collaborative approach among all relevant stakeholders’ to address the ‘various inconsistencies and procedural issues related to the collection and review of ballot cards.”
CCM President Casey Creamer stated, “we heard his call for collaboration and offered amendments to strengthen the bill to benefit all agricultural employees. However, our collaborative approach was ignored, leading to language that will ultimately not benefit the agricultural employee.”
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