Farm Workers and Allies March and Rally for Human Rights
by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at
6262 AAAK /27 August 2022 JC-PG
Braving intense three-digit heat, farm workers concluded a grueling 24-day, 335 mile march through the central valley, ending at the state capitol. They were joined for the final mile by thousands of community supporters and unionists, including nurses, health care workers, teachers, janitors, clerks, auto workers, construction trades, teamster drivers, media workers and more.
The march was a reenactment of the same route, from delano to sacramento, led by United Farm Workers (UFW) co-founders Elder Dolores Huerta, now 92 years young, and Ancestor CESAR CHAVEZ in 1966. The focus was to collectively demand Gov. Gavin Newsom sign AB 2183.
This critical legislation would give workers in the fields the rights that many others in labor often take for granted: to unionize without intimidation from the growers who employ them; for health care benefits; living wages; adequate breaks in the fields; fresh drinking water; rest-room facilities; affordable housing; an end to deadly pesticides and much more.
The specific legislation contained in AB 2183: “The Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act,” has passed both the assembly and senate. It would allow farm workers to vote to join or reject unionization by safer and private means, including mail-in their ballots, workers would also have the option of receiving assistance in filling out and completing their ballots off-site.
The multi-millionaire Newsom, who has interests in the lucrative wine and hospitality industries, has said he is opposed to the bill because “we cannot support an untested mail-in election process that lacks critical provisions to protect the integrity of the election … and is predicated on an assumption that government cannot effectively enforce laws.“ Last year, Newsom also vetoed AB 616, which AB 2183 mirrors.
Well, WE say a collective bull-s..t! If our state can lead the way to establish safe and effective voting rights during the deadly pandemic for tens of millions of people, certainly WE can expand the methods of voting and human rights for our most essential workers of all – the laborers that provide us food.
Please call Gov. Newsom, who has plans to run for president, and demand he sign AB 2183 before this session expires on Aug. 31, 2022. Tell him don’t bite the hand that feeds him, his family, this state and many across the u.s. and world. Gov. Newsom’s number is 916-445-2841; or visit the UFW website at ufw.org/caagvotingchoiceact2022.
SI SE PUEDE! YES WE CAN (WIN)!
Among his many positions over the decades, Baba Jahahara is a free-tired labor union activist, helping successfully organize and win major contracts for workers in chicago, kansas city, new york, mississippi and around california. Reach him c/o FONAMI, P.O. Box 10963, oakland, ca 94610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.