Remember how Governor Jerry Brown liked to bring up his days working with Cesar Chavez and the UFW in the 70s during his heated campaign with Meg Whitman last year?
Well it seems that those ties with the UFW under current President Arturo Rodriguez aren’t as strong as they were back in the day when Cesar Chavez was in charge, as Governor Brown vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for farm laborers to organize.
According to The Los Angeles Times:
“The proposal has been the top legislative goal for years for the United Farm Workers, whose founder, Cesar Chavez, had strong ties to Brown. It would have allowed the union to bargain for employees without holding an election — by simply collecting signatures from a majority of workers on cards saying they wanted representation.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed similar measures four times during his seven years in office. Supporters of the latest bill had been hopeful that Brown, a Democrat who often spoke of his relationship with Chavez during his gubernatorial campaign last year, would approve it.
In his veto message Tuesday, Brown cited his work with the union 36 years ago.
“I am not yet convinced that the far-reaching provisions of this bill … are justified,” Brown wrote.
Union leaders reacted angrily.
“To us it’s a real clear decision,” UFW President Arturo Rodriguez said. “This governor has decided to side with the rich against the powerless.””
In many ways, I’m not too surprised that Brown vetoed this bill given the anti-union sentiment sweeping the country. And the influence of the UFW has diminished in recent years, and some even see that enterprise (UFW and its related organizations) as a vehicle to profit the Chavez family. However, I do think that if this bill is revised, the Governor may eventually sign it or something like it. Brown waited until the last minute to issue the veto, and the pressure was on so he clearly was weighing his options.