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President's Message November 16, 2015

President's Message

Monday, November 16th 2015

CFFA President,

Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.

During the thirty day period from mid-September to mid-October, Governor Jerry Brown reviewed hundreds of bills passed by the Legislature determining whether to sign or veto such legislation. True to past form, the Governor’s action showed a thoughtful process whereby almost all aspects of the political spectrum could claim victory (or defeat) in one way or another. For California agriculture, there were examples involving labor legislation where we applauded the Governor for his common sense approach such as when he vetoed AB 465 which would have prohibited employers from implementing an arbitration agreement with employees, AB 561 which would have placed unrealistic time constraints involving make whole awards by the ALRB and SB 406 which would have expanded family leave unrealistically. However, we had to hold our nose when the Governor decided to sign AB 145, a bill that will give $3 million a year to the UFW’s medical plan until January, 2021. The rationale was that if the plan was left to fail on its own, those covered would move to Medi-Cal and coast taxpayers even more. We disagree and believe this action sets a disturbing precedent. But most concerning was the Governor’s signing of AB 1513. This bill dealt with piece-rate and non-productive time that indeed had some positive aspects for some employers but contained a specific carve-out orchestrated by the UFW that left out a number of CFFA;’s members from taking advantage of the safe harbor provisions that were contained in the bill. The Administration’s refusal to correct this obvious unfair and potentially unlawful action, while taking amendments for other industries, will most likely lead to further litigation if attempts to correct the injustice legislatively in 2016 fail. We look forward to representing our membership and working with other associations for the overall benefit of California agriculture. Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon. 

Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon.