A California-based legal organization is challenging the constitutionality of a state regulation forcing farmers to allow union activists on their property to organize and recruit members.
A federal lawsuit filed filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) represents Cedar Point Nursery in the Siskiyou County town of Dorris, and Fowler Packing Co. in Fresno over such activities.
The lawsuit alleges that the California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is violating the property rights of agricultural landowners by forcing them to allow union activists onto their property to organize and recruit members.
At issue is an ALRB regulation that promotes trespassing by purporting to grant a right of access by union organizers to farming operations for the purpose of meeting and talking with employees and soliciting their support.
Decades old, the trespass regulation survived a challenge at the state Supreme Court in 1976. It has never been challenged at the federal level.
PLF is asking the federal courts to affirm that ALRB’s trespass regulation violates the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs, and enjoin ALRB from enforcing it against them.
Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing turned to the federal courts for help because they have had their operations disrupted in recent months by activists from the United Farm Workers (UFW). Growers claim that the ALRB forced its way onto farms by citing the ALRB regulation as a justification to trespass.
Cedar Point Nursery is located in the Siskiyou community of Dorris. The company raises strawberry plants for producers both statewide and nationally. It employs more than 400 seasonal and about 100 year-round workers.
Cedar Point’s employees have never considered forming a union, according to PLF. Consequently when the UFW staged its early morning strike it took everyone by surprise. The disruptive scene was staged on Cedar Point’s property during its six-week strawberry plant harvest last year.
In : Agriculture