President's weekly report — February 12, 2016
Defending private property rights on the farm
PLF attorneys filed this lawsuit this week in Cedar Point Nurseries v. California Agricultural Labor Relations Board over that agency’s rule that purports to allow union organizers access onto private property for organizing purposes. But this doesn’t simply mean going onto farm sites to speak with workers. Last October, the United Farm Workers used their access “rights” to disrupt the work of over 500 employees by using bullhorns and intimidation. The union uses such tactics during some of the busiest — and most crucial — times of the harvesting season. These tactics violate the constitutional rights of the landowners. While a union may have a right to contact and speak to workers, it shouldn’t have the right to violate private property rights and disrupt an ongoing business to do so. For more, see our blog post and video here.
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Cedar Point Nursery v. Gould
PLF represents California farming businesses that employ around 3,000 Californians and produce millions of dollars for California’s economy in the form of oranges, table grapes, and strawberry plants. A state Agricultural Labor Relations Board regulation – the Union Access Rule – allows union organizers to go on private land to solicit support for unionization. In 2015, union organizers entered and walked across our clients’ property during harvest time, promoting the union with bullhorns. Some workers, scared and intimidated, left the property. PLF sued, arguing that this disruptive regulation effectively takes the farmers’ property in violation of the Fifth Amendment and also violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable seizures.Read more