The UFW isn’t as powerful as people like to think. It can’t even unite Democrats in Sacramento to support its controversial overtime legislation.
As of now, 15 Democrats in the state assembly do not support AR 1066. The bill, promoted as a way to get workers more money, would actually hurt them as well as their employers. That’s why the Democrats are so divided.
“Eight Democrats voted against the overtime pay legislation in June and seven abstained, even after Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) rose on the floor to urge legislators to support it. Some have not changed their stance,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) said he is opposed to adding another layer of cost on the agricultural community without addressing both burdensome regulations and the state’s ongoing water crisis,” according to the Times.
The UFW wants a cheap scheme to show how much its political pull can benefit workers – with big required overtime payments.
But other Democrats realize that the bill would take away 20 hours a week of earnings that farmworkers already make, by cutting down our voluntary 60 hour workweek to 40 hours, before overtime kicks in.
That, as we know, would impose high costs on employers who couldn’t afford to pay the huge extra in overtime. And if that happens, we’ll lose those extra 20 hours a week completely.