FL Farm Bureau Votes to Join Ag Coalition

Gary Cooper Alabama, Florida, General, Georgia

(Gainesville, Fla.) – The Florida Farm Bureau Federation will join Agriculture for a Democratic Workplace (ADW), a national coalition of agriculture associations unified to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The EFCA would amend the National Labor Relations Act to make it easier for employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations. The EFCA would also deny workers their right to a secret ballot when deciding whether or not to be represented by a union. The secret ballot would be replaced with a card check scheme, which would make an individual worker’s vote public to his/her employer, union organizers, and co-workers.

“Together with Farm Bureau and other partners like Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, ADW aims to communicate to our nation’s leaders that agricultural workers, employers, and associations will fight to protect the right to a federally supervised secret ballot when workers are deciding whether or not to join a union,” said John L. Hoblick, president of Florida Farm Bureau.

The Florida Farm Bureau Federation executive committee voted unanimously to join the coalition in accordance with Federation policy, which states “For the purposes of uniformity, we strongly favor agricultural labor relations legislation at the national level rather than state legislation. Any legislation should include safeguards for workers, employers, and consumers, such as requiring secret ballot elections.”

“We need to be doing things in this country to create jobs, not place them in jeopardy. This legislation jeopardizes jobs by taking away a worker’s basic right to a secret ballot and an employer’s ability to negotiate contracts,” said Michelle Williamson, chair of Florida Farm Bureau’s Labor Advisory Committee.

The Florida Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general-interest agricultural association with about 137,000 member-families statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, the Federation is an independent, nonprofit agricultural organization. More information about Florida Farm Bureau is available on the organization’s Web site, http://FloridaFarmBureau.org .