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September 1, 2021

AB 616 UFW Card Check Bill Heads to Governor Newsom

AB 616 (Mark Stone, Scotts Valley) – a UFW bill that would erode farmworkers’ choice in whether or not to join a union and threaten employers’ due process rights – has passed the Assembly and Senate and now heads to the desk of California Governor Gavin Newsom. The initial vote count to move the bill was 42-14. Western Growers will share the final vote count once it is tallied.

If AB 616 were to become law:

  • farm employees will be forever stripped of their right to express their choice for union representation or not by a secret ballot election supervised by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB);
  • union organizers will go to great lengths to influence farm employees in order to force a card check certification and avoid secret ballot elections;
  • employers will be in perpetual legal defense mode at the ALRB, as AB 616 has harsh penalties against employers but not the unions; and
  • the bonding requirement present in the bill represents a direct threat to an employer’s due process rights.

Western Growers thanks all the members who contacted their respective Assemblymember and Senator asking them to vote “no” on AB 616. Western Growers staff will continue to reach out to Governor Newsom, urging him to veto AB 616.