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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mandatory mediation changes rules for negotiating farm labor contracts


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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