Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) stood in opposition to Senate Bill 1474 by Senator Steinberg (D-Sacramento) on the Assembly Floor today. SB 1474 would circumvent the democratic process by authorizes the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) to disqualify a fair labor election and allow employees to unionize. The losing union would simply need to file an appeal claiming that the employer engaged in unfair labor practices. The threshold for "unfair labor practice" is not clearly defined in the bill, so it could potentially cover anything.
"It is ironic that unions, who have fought for years to give employees the right to unionize through a secret ballot process, has decided that the right to cast a ballot is no longer needed," stated Nielsen. "The right to cast a secret ballot is a right enjoyed by every citizen in this country, and has served us well for over 200 years. Why would unions suddenly decide that a secret ballot election is no longer needed? This bill is a slap in the face to our democratic process and I urge the Governor to veto this bill."
SB 1474 is labeled a "Job Killer" by the California Chamber of Commerce, as this bill will hurt California's farms and businesses by driving up costs and making employers less competitive in a global market. Despite Assemblyman Nielsen speaking in opposition to SB 1474, the bill passed off the Assembly Floor.