Great news! Governor Gray Davis evidently decided to stop playing with his checkbook, and signed
the bill that will provide arbitration in cases where the owner stonewalls in contract negotiations. The
agricultural interests fought this bill tooth and nail, and the spell they cast over Davis with trheir
financial contributions was only broken by thousands of people marching, writing letters, and fasting.
No word yet on how many compromises the farmworkers had to put into the bill (like possibly having
the bill "expire" after only a few years). Also, Davis "compensated" for the farmworkers bill by
vetoing drivers' licenses for the undocumented. What sucks is that Davis did not make either one of
these decisions based on the merits of the issue -- another classic case study for getting money out of
politics. Campaign contributions = bribes.
"United Farm Workers
Victory for farmworkers!
UFW hails Gov. Davis' signature on legislation aiding the state's 'poorest and most abused workers'
United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez issued the following statement from the union's
Keene Calif. headquarters after Gov. Davis announced he has signed SB 1156 by state Senate leader
John Burton (D-San Francisco), and AB 2596, by Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson (D-Los Angeles):
The historic legislation Governor Davis has signed will allow many farm workers to finially realize the
1975 farm labor law's promise of the right to organize and bargain with their employers. The
governor's signature will mean some of the poorest and most abused workers in California can win
the life-changing benefits of union contracts for themselves and their families.
We are grateful to all the legislators who supported these long-overdue reforms, but especially to state
Senate leader John Burton, without whom this victory would not have been possible."