I strongly support California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act (AB 2183), which will give California agricultural workers greater opportunity to organize and bargain collectively for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Farmworkers have worked tirelessly and at great risk to their lives to keep food on American tables during the pandemic. In the state with the largest population of agricultural workers, the less we owe them is an easier path to making a free and fair choice to organize a union. I am grateful to elected officials and labor leaders in California for leading the way.

The government should work to remove – not erect – barriers to organizing workers. But in the end, workers have to make the choice whether or not to organize into a union.

Unions transform the way we work and live: higher wages, better benefits, like health insurance and paid vacations, protections against discrimination and harassment, and a safer and healthier workplace . Unions built the middle class. And unions give workers a voice. The voices of workers are heard and taken into account. Organizing or joining a union is democracy in action. And it’s especially important today for black and brown workers whose voices have long been silenced by shameful race-based laws and policies.

It is high time we ensured that American agricultural workers and other essential workers have the same right to join a union as other Americans.