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CRLAF's AB 636

United Farm Workers March for AB 2183

From August 3 to August 26, 2022, farm workers across the Central Valley region marched 335-miles from historic Forty Acres, the original headquarters of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) in Delano, to Sacramento in support of the California Agriculture Labor Relations Voting Choice Act Assembly Bill (AB) 2183. UFW organized the march and sponsored this bill, which would expand voting access and democratic participation by allowing farm workers to vote on union elections at a physical location, via mail, or dropping off a representation ballot card at the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) office. Such options would limit the possibility of voting intimidation by grower foremen, supervisors and farm labor contractors.

On April 10, 1966, the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA, reconstituted in 1972 as the United Farm Workers Union) and their leader, Cesar Chavez led a march along the same route to raise awareness of an ongoing strike of 2,000 San Joaquin Valley farm workers. In this demonstration, hundreds of farm workers similarly faced heat of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, bruised feet, and police harassment, as they gathered strength, built community, and international solidarity and attention.

Farm workers across the Central Valley, students, and a number of other groups, and workers from other fields joined the UFW march along the way, with 19 individuals present for the entire pilgrimage. The group gathered a crowd of about 7,000 as their journey came to a close in Sacramento.

In the fall of 2021, Governor Newsom vetoed the first draft of this bill. On August 25, 2022 Newsom announced that he would not sign AB 2183 in its current form, but is open to negotiation. A day or so later, news was released that a winery group co-founded by the Governor acquired a 129-acre vineyard in northeastern Napa County for $14.5 million. [1]

More often than not, growers, labor contractors and other agribusinesses not only fail to protect and look out for their employees’ best interest, but also threaten farm workers’ employment and immigration statuses. Over the last 41 years, CRLAF has helped thousands of farm workers file complaints, and has offered advice, counsel, and representation free of charge to ensure farm workers, often immigrants or migrants more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation due to their immigration status, access to justice.

Since arriving in the state Capitol, UFW has hosted 24-hour vigils in Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, to pressure Governor Newsom to sign AB 2183. Advocates have sworn to remain in place until the bill is signed.

CRLAF testified in the Legislature in support of the bill, and continues to demonstrate our support for farm worker’s democratic participation and expanded civil rights, through on the ground involvement with the march and vigil, as well as in our communications and advocacy with policy holders and other stakeholders.

Please find additional information on the UFW website: or text "si se puede" to 877-877 for updates.

[1] (Note: Governor Newsom put all of his holdings into a blind trust after being elected.)


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