During the 1970’s, union organizer Caesar Chavez “fought tenaciously for the secret ballot” to unionize workers, but that was then. Today in California, union bosses, in a desperate effort to get more members, are pushing legislation to gut the secret ballot. The Los Angeles Times reports that “[m]ore than three decades after” the passage of “the state’s landmark Agricultural Labor Relations Act, a bill pending in the Legislature could dramatically alter how farm labor unions secure contracts in California. The newly introduced legislation could curtail the use of secret ballots when farmworkers vote on union representation.” Curtail is probably not the right word. Eliminate is a better one.
“The legislation comes after the once-powerful United Farm Workers union, which is sponsoring the legislation, has faced embarrassing losses among California farmworkers voting on union representation. In several cases, farmworkers in great numbers have signed authorization cards calling for a union election, but then failed to support UFW representation in the actual election.”