Farmworker Protection Rule

Supreme Court to Hear Ag Union Case

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Legal

Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear a challenge to a California law that allows employee unions to trespass on private property. California law requires agriculture producers to open their property and businesses to union activists. Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys, who represent the companies filing the suit, claim that unauthorized union activities disrupt business operations and take property without compensation.

According to a press release issued by the Pacific Legal Foundation, early one morning in 2015, hundreds of workers at Cedar Point Nursery were startled when union activists came into their place of business, yelling into bullhorns and demanding that the workers join the union. Mike Fahner, owner of Cedar Point, decided to challenge that state law that forced him to host the union’s activities.

Citrus and grape grower Fowler Packing Co., located in Fresno County, joined the suit after the company refused union organizers access to their property. Fowler employs 1,800 to 2,500 field workers and approximately 500 workers at its packing plant.

“Like Cedar Point, none of Fowler’s employees live on premises, and all of its workers are fully accessible to union organizers when they are not at work,” according to the court documents filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation lawyers with the Supreme Court.

“The Constitution forbids government from requiring you to allow unwanted strangers onto your property. And union activists are no exception,” said Joshua Thompson, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation which asked the high court to hear the case. “California’s regulation that allows them to do so violates property owners’ fundamental right to exclude trespassers.”

The case is Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid. Pacific Legal Foundation represents Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company free of charge.

Source: Pacific Legal Foundation