In California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation Wednesday making it easier for farmworkers to cast their ballots in union elections by mail — and protecting them from retaliation from their employers. In a statement, Newsom said, “California’s farmworkers are the lifeblood of our state, and they have the fundamental right to unionize and advocate for themselves in the workplace.”
Just last month, Newsom had threatened to veto the bill, known as AB 2183, but reversed his opposition after President Joe Biden and other top Democrats spoke in favor of it. That followed a long grassroots campaign waged by thousands of farmworkers and their allies, who in August marched over 300 miles to California’s state Capitol in Sacramento to demand protections for union supporters. United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero celebrated as the bill became law.
Teresa Romero: “This is an incredible victory. Starting next year, farmworkers can participate in elections free from intimidation and deportations. ¡Sí, se puede!”