Newsom Signs California Bill to Ease Farm Union Voting

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, executive director of the California Federation of Labor, which urged Newsom to sign the bill, said it was a victory for farmworkers across the state.

“At this historic moment when workers want a union more than ever, everything we do, including at the legislative level, needs to be about organizing,” he said. “It’s only natural that in California, our farmworkers lead the way.”

In August, dozens of farmworkers marched more than 330 miles through the Central Valley to Sacramento to pressure Newsom to sign the bill into law. The march was symbolic, mirroring a 1966 walk led by United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, who demanded a meeting with Gov. Edmund G. Brown to address farmworker conditions.

Since the last march, UFW members, along with other farmworkers who support the bill, have held rallies in many California cities.

One morning this month, Amalia Rodríguez, 30, joined a dozen supporters of Assembly Bill 2183 outside a state building in downtown Los Angeles.

Ms. Rodriguez began working in strawberry fields in Oxnard, a farming community 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, when she was a teenager. She said that she had seen farmers intimidate farmworkers, many of whom are undocumented.

“They tell us to be thankful for what we do and not to be greedy,” he said.

“They treat us like we’re nothing,” Ms. Rodríguez added, as other protesters shouted the union’s slogan, “Yes, we can,” as passing cars honked their horns in support.

“We work hard and they just tell us to shut up,” he said.