On Thursday, AB 616, which would erode farmworkers’ choice in whether or not to join a union and threaten employers’ due process rights, passed a floor vote in the California Senate. The final vote tally was 24 Ayes-11 Noes and 5 Abstentions. AB 616 will now go to the California Assembly for a concurrence vote.
Western Growers will continue to lobby against AB 616, which was authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone and sponsored by the United Farm Workers. The bill would undermine the secret ballot election process that lies at the heart of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. If AB 616 were to become law, farm employees will be essentially stripped of their choice for union representation or not by a secret ballot election supervised by the ALRB.
Thank you to all WG members who reached out to their legislators to express opposition to this bill. Senators Bates, Borgeas, Dahle, Glazer, Grove, Hurtado, Jones, Melendez, Nielsen, Ochoa Bogh, and Wilk voted no. Senators who abstained are Caballero, Dodd, Hertzberg, Newman, and Wieckowski.
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