Farm workers in California are a vulnerable group characterized by attacks from employers on workers attempting to form unions and subverted union elections, leaving naturalized citizens and undocumented workers in fear of losing their jobs. The California state legislature has attempted to rectify the situation by passing the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act, only to be vetoed-- three separate times!!!-- by the Governator. The act (via Daily Kos):
"would give California’s 400,000 farm workers an alternative to traditional, on-the-job polling place elections to decide on union representation. Under the new process, farm workers would fill out state-issued ballots in privacy.
"At present, many farm workers fear participating in union elections because the secret-ballot process established in 1975 in California has been subverted. Time and again, anti-union employers fire and threaten farm workers who want union representation. And, on election days growers watch farm workers casting their ballots helping ensure a 'No Union' vote."
So when 1,000 workers delivered the newly passed (for the fourth time) Act to Governor Jerry Brown, they were hopeful for a signature and improved working conditions.
Not so. Brown followed Schwarzenegger's lead and vetoed the bill.
United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez released a statement condemning the veto:
"What never changes in politics is power. Governor Brown accepted the arguments made by the powerful agribusiness lobby and rejected the cause of powerless farm workers."
Maybe Governor Brown should look at Georgia's mistakes and recognize that being cruel to farm workers is a failing strategy for a state with large agricultural interests. Or does he want all those employees going elsewhere?