I strongly support California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act (AB 2183), which will give California’s agricultural workers greater opportunity to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Farmworkers worked tirelessly and at great personal risk to keep food on America’s tables during the pandemic. In the state with the largest population of farmworkers, the least we owe them is an easier path to make a free and fair choice to organize a union. I am grateful to California’s elected officials and union leaders for leading the way.
Government should work to remove – not erect – barriers to workers organizing. But ultimately workers must make the choice whether to organize a union.
Unions transform how we work and live: higher wages, better benefits, like health insurance and paid leave, protections against discrimination and harassment, and a safer and healthier workplace. Unions built the middle class. And, unions give workers a voice. Workers’ voices are heard and heeded. Organizing or joining a union, that’s democracy in action. And it’s especially important today for Black and Brown workers whose voices have long been silenced through shameful race-based laws and policies.
It is long past time that we ensure America’s farmworkers and other essential workers have the same right to join a union as other Americans.