From SacBee.com, The Sacramento Bee, The Associated Press, 16 May 2011.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The state Legislature has passed a bill that would give farm workers an alternative to secret ballots in deciding whether to join a union.
The Assembly approved SB104 on a 51-25, party-line vote Monday. It would allow field laborers to organize by submitting a petition to the state instead of holding a secret-ballot election.
Workers would sign and turn in state-issued representation cards. If the state determined the cards had been signed by a majority of workers, the union would be certified without holding an election.
The legislation was passed previously in the Senate and now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Supporters said workers are susceptible to intimidation during on-site elections. But proponents say the bill will make it easier to unionize, and that eventually would drive up food prices.