Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif made the following statements about Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of SB 25 and approval of AB 1897:

“Governor Brown made a sound decision in vetoing SB 25.  We are grateful that he saw the fundamental unfairness of this proposal.  When a state mediator imposes a union contract on an employer, as the Agricultural Labor Relations Act provides, the employer has very limited opportunity to obtain a stay of its provisions from the court pending an appeal.  This legislation would have raised the barrier so high that it would be practically impossible for any employer to ever obtain a stay.  This is fundamentally unfair.  By further removing the courts from the process, SB 25 sought to diminish the already limited accountability of the state mediator and the ALRB, and in so doing would have provided even more motivation to the union to run out the clock in good faith bargaining in order to get to Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation (MMC), more properly known as mandatory mediation and binding arbitration.

We thank Governor Brown for making another difficult, but wise decision in this area.”

Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif also issued this statement following the governor’s signing of AB 1897:

“We are very disappointed in the governor’s decision to approve AB 1897. This labor union- sponsored bill will unfairly impose significant liability onto an innocent third-party employer for violations of wage and other obligations of a labor contractor even though the third-party employer does not control the contractor. All employers should be ensuring a safe work environment, the payment of wages, and workers’ compensation for their employees, and California has in recent years strengthened these laws and increased enforcement to focus on bad actors.  Creating liability for innocent third-party employers is unnecessary and harmful to our state’s job climate.”

Dave Puglia

Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of three bills that establishes a new structure for managing groundwater in the state.  According to the Governor’s press release, AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319 “create a framework for sustainable, local groundwater management for the first time in California history.”   Western Growers and numerous agriculture groups opposed the collective of bills and recently sent a letter to the governor asking for a veto of the package.

Gail Delihant

On September 10, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1522 which provides workers with three paid sick days per year. The new law, entitled the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014,” requires California employers to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting on July 1, 2015.  The law contains no exemption for agricultural, seasonal, temporary or part-time employees.

Jason Resnick

Western Growers, and a coalition of 30 agriculture organizations, are asking Governor Jerry Brown to veto recently passed groundwater legislation.  As Spotlight previously reported, in the final hours before it concluded its business for the year, the California Legislature approved three measures that make up a package of groundwater regulation legislation.  AB 1739 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento), SB 1168 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) and SB 1319 (Pavley) all passed with small margins as members from both parties objected to the complex content of the bills as well as the rush to pass them.

Dave Puglia

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