Calif. Public Sector Workers Now Will Have Added Protections to Organize on the Job
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Teamsters Joint Council 7 is lauding California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent signing of groundbreaking legislation that will significantly increase enforcement of labor laws prohibiting union busting in the public sector. Senate Bill 931 was principally sponsored by the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council and co-sponsored by the California Labor Federation, SEIU State Council, and AFSCME California.
The new law imposes significant penalties on public employers for unlawfully attempting to deter or discourage employees from joining or participating in a union. It cracks down on some public employers that have illegally, and repeatedly, sent out anti-union communications to existing bargaining units or workers attempting to organize by creating a substantial penalty of $1,000 per affected employee for violating the law, while also allowing a prevailing union to recover attorney’s fees.
“Public employees serve their communities and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at work,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “California is taking a step in the right direction by cracking down on illegal union busting, and there’s opportunity for more states to follow this model to protect workers from predatory employers.”
“This is a historic win for countless workers who want to join a union to win better pay and benefits, and fair treatment at work,” said Jason Rabinowitz, President of Joint Council 7. “For decades, greedy employers have run roughshod over workers’ rights, engaging in illegal union-busting activity because our labor laws have no teeth. SB 931 helps end this injustice, for the first time creating meaningful penalties that protect workers. We hope other states and Congress will follow California’s lead to protect workers’ rights to form a union everywhere.”
Under prior rules, even when the Public Employment Relations Board sided with the union, its only remedy was to issue a cease-and-desist order requiring an employer to post notice of its violations.
SB 931 is now the model for public sector labor law enforcement in other states and for efforts to strengthen federal labor law by creating significant financial penalties for unfair labor practices committed by employers.
Teamsters Joint Council 7 represents more than 100,000 members in 20 local unions in 48 counties of Northern California, the Central Valley and 14 Northern Nevada counties.
Aimee Baror, (213) 220-0538
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SOURCE Teamsters Joint Council 7