Newsom Signs Union Bill and Department of Labor Issues New H-2A Rules
**California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that will allow unions to collect signed ballots or authorization cards to organize farm employees in lieu of holding secret-ballot elections for union certification.
Ag groups say the governor’s signing of Assembly Bill 2183 represents a dramatic departure from rules protecting farm employees from coercion in union votes.
The California Farm Bureau and other ag groups strongly opposed the legislation.
**Global agricultural productivity growth is in steep decline, and to sustainably produce food and ag products for more than 9-billion people in 2050, productivity must increase an average of 1.73% annually.
That's according to the 2022 Global Agricultural Productivity Report, produced by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.
From 2011-2020, global ag productivity grew at an average of just 1.12%, a significant drop from the 1.99% the previous decade.
**The U.S. Department of Labor issued new rules for hiring H-2A workers.
Industry Update Dot Com says the new rules, that take effect November 14, clarify that farm associations can be held liable for violations by individual farmers.
The department emphasized H-2A workers are still limited to seasonal work only.
The House-passed Farm Workforce Modernization Act, that stalled in the Senate, would have allowed a limited number of year-round H-2A visas.