California Farmers & Businesses Applaud Governor’s Veto of Card Check Legislation

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Governor Protects Jobs and Farm Worker Rights By Rejecting Senate Bill 1474

The Governor's action protects our fragile economy and makes a strong statement about his concern for business and jobs.

A coalition of business and agricultural organizations today praised Governor Schwarzenegger’s veto of Senate Bill 1474 (Steinberg), which they said would have imposed a backdoor method for unionizing workers through an undemocratic card check program.

“Despite the bill’s creative language, the Governor understood that at its core, the proposal represented the same type of assault on democracy, business and workers as in previous legislative proposals,” said Barry Bedwell, president of the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, a coalition member.

“Every California farmer and farm employee should be grateful to Governor Schwarzenegger for standing up for the right to a secret ballot,” said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of Western Growers.

In his veto message, the Governor echoed the concerns of farmers and the business community, saying that the “provisions of SB 1474 represent a serious departure from existing law . . . Overturning and reversing secret ballot election results should not be taken lightly and may be appropriate in only the most egregious cases. For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill.”

The California Farm Bureau Federation said the Governor’s veto also sends a strong signal about getting the state’s economy back on track.

“The Governor understood that signing a bill like SB 1474 into law would have sent the wrong message to all businesses – not just those of us in agriculture,” said Rich Matteis, the Administrator for the Farm Bureau. “His action protects our fragile economy and makes a strong statement about his concern for business and jobs.”

Coalition Against SB 1474: Agricultural Council of California, Alliance of Western Milk Producers, Allied Grape Growers, California Association of Wheat Growers, California Association of Winegrape Growers, California Bean Shippers Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Citrus Mutual, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Grain and Feed Association, California Grape and Tree Fruit League, California Pear Growers Association, California Seed Association, California State Floral Association, California Warehouse Association, California Women for Agriculture, Grower Shipper Association of Central California, Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, Family Winemakers of California, Nisei Farmers League, Pacific Coast Renderers Association, Pacific Egg & Poultry Association, Ventura County Agricultural Association, Western Growers, Western United Dairymen, Wine Institute.

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Stevan Allen

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