September 2, 2021

Western Growers Denounces Passage of AB 616 in California Legislature

IRVINE, CALIF. (Sept. 2, 2021) – In response to passage of AB 616 by the California State Legislature–first in the Senate on August 26 and then in the Assembly on September 1–Western Growers President & CEO Dave Puglia issued the following statement:

“It is both ironic and shameful that a body of elected leaders would act to strip farmworkers of their own democratic protections in the union election process, including the right to a secret ballot vote overseen by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Despite misleading claims to the contrary, AB 616 is not a simple, benign shift to mail-in ballots. Rather, this bill aims to circumvent the democratic process entirely, and vests in union organizers the dangerous power to disenfranchise farmworkers and predetermine election outcomes. Ten years after his predecessor vetoed card check, we call on Governor Newsom to once again protect the fundamental freedom of choice for farmworkers.”

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Western Growers’ members and their workers provide over half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce. Connect and learn more about Western Growers on Twitter and Facebook