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The information listed below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. The information provided here has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard's Dairyman.



Western United Dairymen
After a week-long and an 8 month long battle, including a kill-vote by the Assembly in June, the Assembly went for round two and passed AB 1066, the elimination of the 10 hour work day, 60 hour work week for agricultural employees, by a vote of 44 to 32. The bill included a longer phase in period for businesses that employ 25 people or less, but other agricultural labor employers will be required to begin the adjustment in 2022. The bill now heads to the Governor's desk for his consideration.

A fair day's pay for a fair day's work. This was the theme on the floor of the Assembly. How do we have a society that works for everyone, they asked? Dignity...And therefore, the issue of equity -even though many other industries receive the exemption to overtime and will continue to do so, rose to the top of those issues considered.

Some of the more memorable quotes from the floor came from Assemblyman James Gallagher (R -Nicolaus), "There's not the same mutual respect for agriculture in the California Assembly, things are a little bit different in the farming business. And if you don't understand it then you shouldn't be voting for something you don't understand!" Sounds great, that this is about equity. It ignores the fact that most farm workers don't have work in the off-season and this is going to cut jobs they need. It's about the facts -that's why you're here! Do the work and understand and learn how these bills affect people. I guarantee that I've got a lot more farm workers in my district than there are in San Francisco! I speak for farm workers, because if you understood agriculture, you'd understand this is the busiest times of the year!"

And from Kristin Olson (R-Modesto), "The UFW has 30 contracts in the state of CA. There are over 80,000 farms in CA. The UFW represents somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 workers out of over 600,000 farm workers. There are a lot of other voices who want to be heard."

It was suggested that workers posting on social media to vote "No on AB 1066" had done so "under threat, under fear, under duress, by their employer." (Roger Hernandez, D -West Covina).

"This bill will result in the continued loss of dairies throughout the state -dairy families know one more component that will limit their margins by 2022 and will choose not to risk continuing to be so uncompetitive in California," Frank Mendonsa, WUD President. "This is going to hurt employees and their families the most."

WUD will continue to provide updates as they happen and will continue to lobby in opposition to this legislation.

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9.06.2016
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