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California's Union-Sponsored War on Farmers

September 3, 2013
ByALLYSIA FINLEY an editorial writer for the Journal
A version of this article appeared in The Wall Street Journal

'At what point do you look at this picture and ask, 'Why are you fighting anymore?'" muses Dan Gerawan, whose third-generation family farm in Fresno, Calif., has been under assault by California's labor-regulatory complex.

Within days a state mediator could impose an unwieldy labor contract that may force him out of business. However, the ultimate victims will be his farm workers.

Mr. Gerawan's story illustrates the devolution of California's progressive dream….A 2002 state law allows farmworker unions to sidestep collective bargaining and demand state mediation of first-time contracts. No other labor group in the state has this right. Meanwhile, California Senate President Darrell Steinberg is driving legislation that would allow farmworker unions to request state mediation whenever a contract expires, thus obliterating collective bargaining.

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