Action Alert: Urge Gov. to veto card check bill
Aug. 27, 2010 - - Western United Dairymen members are being encouraged to
contact Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to urge him to veto legislation by Sen.
Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) that would allow union certification to
represent agricultural employees without holding a secret ballot election.
SB1474 was approved by the Senate this week, after earlier approval by the
Assembly. Under the proposed law, if a majority of workers sign union
authorization cards, the state would certify the union as their representative.
Similar “card check” bills have previously been approved by the Legislature,
only to be vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Letters may be sent using the
Governor’s web-form which can be found at http://gov.ca.gov/interact. Select
“OTHER” as the issue and then paste or type the message. Or, letters may be sent
by fax to (916) 558-3160.
Letter writers should consider the following key points:
* Workers deserve the right to ballots they cast in private. This bill is designed to deny agricultural employees the right to decide on union representation by secret ballot.
* SB1474 assumes authorization cards submitted by a union to trigger an election are synonymous with a majority of employees supporting representation by the union. There is no correlation between the two. Employees sign authorization cards for many reasons that have nothing to do with union support, including: to merely call for an election; to stop a union organizer from pestering them for their cards; or because someone misrepresented the consequences of their signing cards.
* More than two dozen business and agricultural organizations are on record as strongly opposed to the measure and the precedent it would set.
* Existing law as expressed by the state Supreme Court authorizes the Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB) to set aside the election and impose a bargaining order where it finds egregious employer misconduct affected an election and a fair rerun election is not likely be held. SB1474 would cast aside this criterion and empower unions to cast multiple allegations, short of an Unfair Labor Practice, to reach a card check outcome. This is simply a backdoor path to card check.
* The California Chamber of Commerce has listed SB1474 among its “Job Killers” for 2010.
* The record is clear that Cesar Chavez believed in and advocated for secret ballot protections for farmworkers. In fact, the secret ballot was fundamental in the formation of the ALRB and remains so to this day.