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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mandatory mediation changes rules for negotiating farm labor contracts

  • Author(s): Martin, Philip
  • Mason, Bert
  • et al.

In September 2002, Governor Gray Davis signed the first major amendments to the 1975 Agri-cultural Labor Relations Act in 27 years. Under these amendments, if a farm employer and certified union are unable to negotiate a first collective bargaining agree-ment within 6 months, a mediator can impose an agreement. The number of contracts in California agriculture has declined precipitously since the mid-1980s, and we are skeptical that mandatory mediation will sharply increase the number of workers employed on farms under collective bargaining agreements.

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