|WUD leads fight against overtime repeal bill|
Western United Dairymen has voiced its opposition to proposed legislation that would repeal the longstanding 10-hour daily overtime requirement for agricultural employees. WUD joined with a broad coalition of state ag groups in sending a letter to the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee voicing its opposition to AB 1313 by Assemblymember Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa). The bill is set to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday Aug. 6.
The coalition cautioned that “AB 1313 will backfire, hurting family farmers and cutting agricultural workers’ paychecks. California’s family farmers cannot successfully compete with other states and nations if they are forced to increase their production costs. Profit margins in agriculture are razor thin – farmers cannot remain successful if they must absorb a 10-percent increase in labor costs. Consequently, farmers will likely avoid paying overtime pay by limiting worker hours and hiring more workers to make up the difference. These changes will result in at least a 20-percent reduction in the income of most agricultural workers during peak harvest season.”