The High Court of California to Decide on the Legality of Farm work Law

A ruling that is set to be given by the highest court in California may reduce the power of organized farm labor drastically. This is after a legal battle between one of the biggest fruit farms in the United States and the labor union leader Cesar Chavez. On Monday, the Supreme Court in California was expected to give a ruling on whether the law that permitted the state to order farming companies and unions to reach contracts that were binding was constitutional. Activists in the labor industry say that conciliation law and mandatory mediation is necessary to assist farm workers in improving their labor conditions.

However, opponents blame government’s overreach for deriving employers and workers in the agricultural industry of a say in their terms of employment and other wages. The ruling by the Supreme Court in California will result to a lawsuit pitting a company known as Gerawan farmer which employs thousands of workers for its peach, plum and nectarine farms against the United Farmworkers of America. The California agricultural Labor relations Board is allowed by the 2002 State law to order mediation efforts to achieve a contract in labor for farm employees. It also gives mediators the authority to determine the terms and conditions of the agreement.

After 90 days have elapsed, unions can seek mediation asking to strike a bargain on behalf of the working population. This is despite the fact that the decision to unionize, in some cases, happened decades ago. The basis of the argument is that after having a union, employees will get fired up as they will have a group to represent their pleas. The employer may delay which will consequently lead to workers losing their enthusiasm. The UFW, in documents filed in the Supreme Court, says that a previous law had not been able to give millions of workers the ability of collective bargaining with their employers. According to UFW, less than half the number of employers whose workers had voted to join the labor union had not agreed to the contract. This has been a very pressing issue since 1975.

In 1990, UFW won the right to represent Gerawan workers, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the contract. The State Agricultural Relations Board, at the request of the union, ordered UFW and Gerawan to enter into a mediation that would be binding. Finally, the mediator would craft a contract that the board would eventually accept.



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