Dodd Loses Exclusive Labor Endorsement Over Farm Worker Overtime Bill

File Jun 05, 10 01 08 PMBy Sean Raycraft

A few weeks ago, Assembly Democrats had an opportunity to end a relic of institutional racism by passing AB 2757. The bill would have gradually implemented overtime for farm workers over a period of several years, and would allow for the governor to arrest the increases if certain economic conditions occurred.

The bill used similar language as SB 3, the 15$ an hour minimum wage bill in that regard. Unfortunately for the farm workers, the bill failed to advance, with several assembly Democrats voting no, including our assembly member and state senate candidate Bill Dodd, and Sacramento area Democrats Jim Cooper and Ken Cooley.

The political fallout from this vote has begun, as the Sacramento Central Labor Council revoked its exclusive endorsement of Bill Dodd. The labor group has now taken a dual endorsement position of Mariko Yamada and Bill Dodd on the State Senate District 4 race.

Lorena Gonzalez, (D San Diego) has amended AB 1066 to include the language of the failed AB 2757, and that bill will be heard on June 29. Local Democratic clubs will be considering resolutions supporting AB 1066 in the coming days. While it is highly unlikely that Bill Dodd will change his vote, but he will have to do so knowing progressive voters will be displeased with his votes.

On June 2, hundreds of farm workers came to Sacramento from all over the state to hopefully witness the passage of another historic bill. Assembly bill 2757 would have extended overtime protections to farm workers. They were sorely disappointed when right in front of them, the bill died on the assembly floor with a vote of 38 in favor and 35 opposed and 7 abstaining or absent.

Former assembly district 4 representative Mariko Yamada, who faces Bill Dodd in the November election, has made many public statements of support on social media for the farm workers, and has expressed disappointment that the bill did not advance.

She wrote “I am on the record 5 years ago supporting AB 1313 (Allen) during the 2011-2012 legislative session for farmworker overtime. Regrettably, AB 1313 also did not pass. Farmworkers and domestic workers were excluded from overtime protections in the 1935 NLRA. (national labor relations act) Its long past time these racist injustices are eliminated!”

County Supervisor and former candidate for Assembly District 4 Don Saylor also came out strongly for this bill on social media writing, “Let me be clear. My vote on AB 2757 would be YES. Why should farm workers not be paid for overtime under the same rules as any other worker?”

Winters Mayor and Assembly District 4 candidate Cecilia Aguiar-Curry provided the following position statement when asked: “Its important that people understand the Ag sector. Farming demands unique requirements. I have concerns about redefining the current overtime provisions in the labor code on the heels of the new 15$ minimum wage requirement which phases in by 2020. I think it is prudent to take a go slow approach in order to assess the financial impacts on farmers and consumers before adding additional costs to production agriculture. I am open to changing the overtime rules in the future AFTER the effects of increased labor costs due to the new minimum wage are better understood.”

Sean Raycraft is a lifelong Davis resident and proud Shop steward with UFCW 8

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Marina Kalugin

    Yes, Dodd is a creep…get a clue people….jeeshhhhhhhh

    but the real issue is that only food-like substances are subsidized by the US gov’ment….and real organic food is not….

    Mariko truly understands that and yet, Dodd has little clue….he backs his commercial giant farm friends at the expense of organic farmers and the farm workers..

    Between now and November, watch what he is doing….

    do not vote for him….he is beholden to the big whatevers… big farms, big oil, big pharma, etc….

    look at how he votes..and learn…

  2. Marina Kalugin

    PS>  does he care what the farm workers think?   nah, do they have money?  are they allowed to vote?    watch how he votes and then decide…


  3. Misanthrop

    Aguiar-Curry:  “I think it is prudent to take a go slow approach in order to assess the financial impacts on farmers and consumers before adding additional costs to production agriculture.”

    These exemptions allowing the underpayment of farm workers have been in effect since the 1930’s. How much slower could we possibly go?

    1. Sam

      I didn’t realize that they passed the $15 per hour minimum wage requirement in the 1930’s, I thought it was just a few weeks ago.

      Maybe she wants to go slow enough to make sure that legislation is not passes that would upset the production of a major portion of the country’s food supply. Or, maybe she is just racist.

        1. Sam

          So she is part of a group of people, California politicians, that continue to give negative treatment to a group of people based on their race by voting down a requirement to pay farmworkers overtime but in no way is anyone even implying that she is racist.

          Maybe she is paying attention to what is going on in Venezuela and understands what happens when a government tries to control the economy through legislation.

    2. Cecilia EscamillaGreenwald

      Kudos to Mariko Yamada and Don Saylor for acknowledging that farm workers and domestic workers DESERVE overtime protections too!

      I sincerely hope Ms. Aguiar-Curry will reconsider her vote and support the bill.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        yes….for those reasons I supported Mariko and Don…

        because Dan would not step aside, we now have Aguilar….sorry Dan…

        and, vote for Charlie Schaupp instead of Aguilar…I know to much about her….she is kinda the ditzy blonde personae, but she is being used and doesn’t even know it..

        (I can say that as a true natural blonde and I know that Aguilar is a brunette….  nice lady, but being used by the likes of Chevron, PGE and so on…   )

        1. Charlie_Schaupp

          Marina:  Your observations on the lobbyist may be on the mark.   Last week I attended a rail Blazer reception the GOP legislators and lobbyist.   One lobbyist came up to me and said “I know who you are…You’re Charlie Schaupp”.   I paused and replied “Do I know you, have we met before?”.   He said “No be I recognize you from your photos, your name has become Iconic around here”.     Now that really puzzled me as I rarely go to Sacramento to rub elbows with the legislative insiders.

          As the evening progressed I realized that almost all of the lobbyist in the reception were ‘Super Alpha’ types.   They were ‘Large and in-charge’ but like piranhas in a lake….be careful.  Most of the legislators were simply being attentive and friendly as possible to the lobbyists.    

          So, from what I observed…I do indeed think the ‘Third House’ (Lobbyists) worked in collusion with each other spending the $2.3 million to support Aguiar-Curry in order to knock Wolk out of the race for the Assembly seat.  That was their true aim and for a second time they achieved it.   That is both unfair and unfortunate.  Dan Wolk is actually a pretty good guy…We just don’t agree on most political issues.  But I  have great respect for him.   Semper Fi

        2. Justice4All

          Youre absolutely right about the lobbyists Charlie. With the Citizens United decision, these lobbyists suddenly have access to millions of dollars they can spend to influence, pressure etc. Suddenly Ed Voice is a political player, and people dont even know who they are.

  4. Sam

    So if you believe that the labor market of farm workers is able to establish their own compensation rate then you are racist. Welcome to the new McCarthyism.

      1. Eric Gelber

        … the avg. farm worker pay is $10.22/hour. Not bad for unskilled labor.

        $10.22 is the average rate, not the minimum rate. What part of “minimum” wage do you not understand? The minimum wage is not based on a “not bad” standard. Even $10.22 an hour is well below what is considered to be a living wage–the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family if they work year-round: Living Wage Calculator.

        1. Marina Kalugin

          true, and in the US Mexican families are heading back to Baja in droves…better living conditions there, no gangs and easier to live a good life….no hassles from the goverment like here etc…

          That, per the latest statistics on the US gov’mnt website on tracking immigration and exits from the US>> although it was posted in November, it was the “latest” 2013 data..

          Things are so bad in the US>>>more mexicans are returning to Mexico  🙂


      1. Barack Palin

        Yes. we already have minimum wage laws in California.  Nobody is making $7 a day for 12 hours of work.  It makes for a great poster though.

        1. Barack Palin

          There’s always under the table employment.  Often times it works out for both the employer and the worker.  The employer gets to pay a little less and the worker gets away without paying taxes.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    Follow what is happening in Baja if you are interested in such topics…the mexican families there live on slave wages and conditions, while Driscoll laffs all the way to the bank.

    Don’t support large companies….buy directly from the farmers….

    get rid of commodity subsidies ….eat real food.

    support the farmers   🙂  the real ones, not the multi-billion ones that force garbage into the public grocery stores.

    Baja needs a Ceasar Chavez …and my friends and I are working on that   🙂

    got friends all over…and Baja is my “bug out” location as the US gets worse and worse…

  6. Marina Kalugin

    back in the 70s a very coveted job for UCD students was at contadina, then Hunt cannery..

    Some students made a fortune in those days at those union jobs… and paid all expenses throughout the school year, by just working a lot during the hot summer months…

    I was kinda surprised to see that the wages haven’t gone up much for “tomato inspectors” and such in yolo county – didn’t hardly budge in how many decades?

    my son and I were walking by a bulletin board in woodland last week and that is where I saw that job 22 was starting at $10.22/hr…..really?

    I was usually doing the summer school to try to keep ahead of the curve…with all my causes and activist work, not to mention the jobs I had to support myself, meant some summer session needed…


    1. hpierce

      Third Strike… Hunt’s first, Contadina (maybe ?) [only remember it going to Hunt-Wesson, then Hunt-Beatrice foods] MANY years later… but hey, why should facts get in the way of arguments/opinions? Certainly not on the Vanguard…

      In the 70’s, it was “Hunts” … my roommates picked up spending money working on the harvesters before Fall Quarter started.

      Facts can be a good thing… and we shold let not grammer, spelling or, getting way of in!


  7. Marina Kalugin

    almost all farm workers and laborers doing slave labor and no overtime in TX are illegals….and many are not even mexican nor of that culture…

    they get paid under the table and they may make only that much per hour….

  8. Marina Kalugin

    2020?  how many will have died by then due to the conditions?

    and, yes, I support the increases in the minimum wage also…

    and truly, who can live on the minimum right now in Davis…and who can live on the $15-18/hr depending on the city right now in the Bay area?

    no one…

    but, one should not just be stupid about it either…

    if someone gets decent room and board, then perhaps they don’t need $15/hr to share a room with 12 others…

  9. Marina Kalugin

    shouldn’t there be some offset, if it is mutually agreed upon? for such things as room/board/transporataion?

    and, in the depressed areas of CA, a $15 min wage will close down small businesses..

    the locals who may all be poor, will not have the means to support the local businesses..

    It should be done in a smarter manner….

    SF and silicon valley can support high prices and high wage/benefit costs…

    not so in Merced and so many other truly depressed places.

    even the influx of UC Merced is slow going to revive that area since the Air Force base shut down…

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