Capitol Weekly Podcast: What next for the United Farm Workers?

Agriculture is BIG business in California; More than half the fruits, nuts and vegetables sold in the US come from the Golden State.

This summer, the legislature passed AB616, the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act, a bill to expand options for organizing agricultural workers. Modeled on the 2016 Voter’s Choice Act, the bill sailed through the legislature, despite being labeled a “job killer” by agribusiness interests.

To the surprise of many – including bill sponsors the United Farm Workers – Gov. Newsom vetoed the bill on September 22. Undaunted, the UFW immediately rerouted an in-progress march on Sacramento to Napa’s French Laundry, a dig at the Governor they had supported against Recall just the week before.

The defeat is the second major blow to the UFW this year: In June, the Supreme Court reversed decades of precedent in a ruling in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, finding that union organizers have no right of access to the premises of an agricultural employer for the purpose of meeting and talking with employees and soliciting their support.

We are joined this episode by Giev Kashkooli, the political and legislative director for the UFW. Kashkooli spoke with John Howard and Tim Foster about these setbacks, and about the UFW’s plans for the future.

And, as always, we tell you who had the Worst Week in California Pollitics.

Show Notes:

:40 What was AB616?
5:26 How do the elections work?
8:18 Newsom is usually aligned with Labor; What happened here?
10:04 After the veto
12:38 Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid
14:17 What’s in the future for UFW?
19:41 Is AB616 coming back?
20:45 The #WorstWeekCA

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