UFW exempts itself from new overtime law

UFW rigged California's overtime law to make itself look good - but not to help farmworkers.

UFW rigged California’s overtime law to make itself look good – but not to help farmworkers.

UFW used its influence with politicians to exempt itself from California’s new overtime law.

They’ve changed the rules of the game, which now they’re excluded from, but everyone else has to comply. So, they’ve literally re-written the rules to put themselves in safer because they don’t have to comply and everyone else does,” Assemblyman Devon Mathis told CBS Fresno.

The UFW claims that that’s a lie. So CBS ran the wording of AB 1066, the new overtime law, past legal expert Charles Magill. “That can happen,” he said.

UFW members ‘are not going to get the overtime that they pushed for’

“One of the possible ways of exempting workers from the law is having a collective bargaining agreement through a union with an employer. If that collected bargaining agreement sets a different hourly, or time frame before overtime kicks in. That can happen,” Magill said to reporter Patrick Nelson.

Assemblyman Mathis is worried for the independent farmworkers who might be priced out of the market, in favor of UFW members who are exempt from the new overtime law.

And there’s plenty of reason for concern for union workers, who might find that they are unable to enjoy the overtime pay after 8 hours of work, just so they can under-price non-unionized workers. It looks more and more like UFW pushed for the overtime bill just to get credit for something big without really bringing benefits to its shrinking membership.

“Now you’re going to look at the union contractor who goes. You know, I don’t have to follow that rule. Hire my guys instead and we can do it cheaper,” Mathis said. “The United Farm Workers wrote themselves out of this bill which means their people are not going to get the overtime that they say they pushed for.”

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