Our Industry’s largest issue today is Labor
Labor Laws & Card Check – Card check, also called majority sign-up, is a method for American employees to organize into a labor union in which a majority of employees in a bargaining unit sign authorization forms, or “cards,” stating they wish to be represented by the union. Since the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) became law in 1935, majority sign-up has been an alternative to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) election process. Majority sign-up and election are both overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. The difference is that with card sign-up, employees sign authorization cards stating they want a union, the cards are submitted to the NLRB and if more than 50% of the employees submitted cards, the NLRB requires the employer to recognize the union. The NLRA election process is an additional step with the NLRB conducting a secret ballot election after authorization cards are submitted. In both cases the employer never sees the authorization cards or any information that would disclose how individual employees voted.
Those who oppose card check argue it strips workers of their right to a secret ballot. They also argue that even though gathering a majority of card signers might imply that a secret ballot would be unnecessary, signers could be coerced to sign through intimidation and pressure, making it an inaccurate mechanism for determining employee support for unionization. Many business organizations, including The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, oppose the implementation of card check.
After failed attempts to circumvent the secret ballot process, card check was re-invented to make union representative a remedy for ‘egregious’ employer conduct affecting a secret ballot election. Under a new administration, the potential for passage of card check legislation through the Legislature remains high.
Immigration Reform & AG Jobs – The latest attempt to move immigration policy without addressing economic questions related to securing an agricultural labor force provided ill-fated, ultimately leading to the defeat of the piecemeal attempt. The California Grape and Tree Fruit League advocated in favor of a solution, which addresses agricultural labor in the context of both comprehensive and a more focused legislative package in recognition of the need for a stable and reliable workforce.