U.S. SUPREME COURT MAY SCUTTLE FARM WORKER PROTECTIONS
Right-wing think tanks are collaborating with landowners, agribusiness corporations in California and even Trump-era reactionaries led by Steve Bannon to scuttle a law in the state that protects farmworkers and organizes them to fight for their rights.
On March 23, 2021, the US Supreme Court (SC) will hear the oral arguments in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, which Sam Knight wrote for Truthout, would allow justices to undermine protections for farmworkers, alongside a wide range of regulations at every level of government all around the country: from other worker protections, to health and safety inspections, to rent control to civil rights laws.”
Knight said the case was dismissed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after the suit was junked by a federal district court.
“By agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court could be signaling that enough justices are unhappy with the appellate court’s decision — and stand ready to overturn it,” he warned.
The case at bar is the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (CALRA) that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in 1975 to plug a loophole in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The NLRA, which was signed into law during the Great Depression by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, granted legal protections to collective bargaining rights.
But the law exempted farmworkers and domestic workers, who were mostly Black, to win support from Democratic lawmakers representing the Jim Crow South.
Now, the capitalists want CALRA junked, along with another law that guarantees organizers access to migrant workers (now 49% of the labor force) for three hours in 120 days.
They contend that CALRA violates their property rights, particularly their right to kick out union organizers.