Workers vow to keep fighting for bill

Farmworkers respond to Gavin Newsom’s concerns about union voting bill

United Farm Workers undertook a 24-day, 335 mile march that ended Friday in Sacramento. The march was aimed at gaining support for the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act, AB 2183, which would allow farmworkers to vote from home in union elections. But despite their efforts, the fate of the legislation they’re seeking is uncertain.

As it stands, farmworkers can only vote in-person and on the property of their employer. The UFW says this exposes farmworkers to fear, intimidation - and in many cases - deportation. “The large majority of farmworkers in California are undocumented,” says Elizabeth Strater, the director of strategic campaigns for the UFW. “The shadow of deportation is absolutely hanging over these workers.”

Newsom vetoed a similar bill, AB 616, last year. He cited “various inconsistencies and procedural issues” in its implementation. Since January, the UFW and legislators have been working with Newsom to reach an agreement on the bill.

In the statement, a spokesperson for Newsom said the governor remains open to negotiations on the bill.


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