Gov. Schwarzenegger last Thursday vetoed the card check bill SB 1474, saying its provisions would “tip the scale in favor of unions” when deciding whether to set aside the results of a union election. The veto is a major victory for Western United Dairymen (WUD) and members of a statewide agricultural coalition who had strongly urged the Governor to veto the measure.

WUD President Jamie Bledsoe said, “We congratulate the Governor for his courageous and wise decision to veto this fundamentally flawed and undemocratic piece of legislation. We would also like to thank the many WUD members who took the time to contact the Governor’s office and urge his veto. Their efforts had an impact and showed once again the power of our grassroots efforts.”

Here is the Governor’s veto message:

"I am returning Senate Bill (SB) 1474 without my signature.

"This bill would require the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) to set aside an election in which there has been misconduct by the employer that affected the outcome of the election and require the ALRB to certify a labor organization as the exclusive bargaining representative if it had been established that at least 50 percent of the employees to be represented signed authorization cards prior to the election.

"Currently, the ALRB has the authority to set aside an election, based on objections by either the employer or the labor organization, and order a rerun election if a new election would further the purpose of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

"The provisions of SB 1474 represent a serious departure from existing law. The provisions of this bill tip the scale in favor of the union by only allowing the ALRB to consider any misconduct, which is not defined, by the employer when making the determination to set aside the election, but does not take into consideration the possibility that the employer may have similar allegations of election misconduct by the labor organization. This remedy should only be allowed in cases where the ALRB finds the possibility of erasing the effects of past unfair labor practices and of ensuring a fair election is slight, and that employee sentiment once expressed through cards would, on balance, be better protected by a bargaining order.

"Finally, in order for me to sign a bill that alters the secret ballot election, the provisions governing a certification election should also govern a decertification election. Overturning and reversing secret ballot election results should not be taken lightly and may be appropriate in only the most egregious cases.

"For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill."

Source: Western United Dairymen and Governor’s Press Release