Sacramento – UAW members are disappointed to hear that Governor Newsom has vetoed Assembly Bill 504 (Reyes), which passed both chambers of the Legislature earlier this year. AB 504 would have prohibited contract language restricting public-sector workers’ right to honor each other’s picket lines, an important step towards making the collective bargaining process work as intended.
“No worker should be forced to cross a picket line,” said Neal Sweeney, President of UAW Local 5810, which represents 12,000 Postdoctoral Scholars and Academic Researchers across UC. “At a time when workers and communities across California and the nation are taking action to fight economic injustice, this veto represents a missed chance to level the playing field between employers and workers.”
“California has missed a major opportunity to lead on labor rights,” said Rafael Jaime, President of UAW Local 2865, representing over 35,000 Academic Workers at the University of California. “AB 504 would have allowed workers across the state to honor their conscience – but more than that, it would have leveled the playing field between workers and employers at a time when workers across the country are standing up to fight economic inequality.”
“UAW members are disappointed to see Governor Newsom veto an innovative bill to codify the fundamental right of every public worker to respect a picket line,” said Mike Miller, Director of UAW Region 6. “UAW members across the country are standing up and fighting billionaire corporations to build the middle class and create a more equal world. As a public employer, the state of California should always treat workers with dignity and respect, but as we saw last year, Academic Workers at UC had to strike for 40 days to force UC to bargain in good faith. AB 504 would have promoted an equal playing field in collective bargaining by giving every public worker the right to respect their fellow workers’ picket lines. California should be a leader in leveling the playing field between workers and employers.”