A bill to crack down on the abuse of perma-temp workers in California passed the State Assembly yesterday with 51 votes thanks to the lobbying efforts of Taylor Farms workers, Teamsters and the California Federation of Labor. AB 1897, a Teamster-sponsored bill, would establish joint employer liability for employers when their temporary agencies break California labor laws.
“We really saw what happens when our Locals get involved in politics on the local level,” said Bloch. “Furthermore, in our effort to connect organizing and legislation, we put Taylor Farms and their temporary agencies front and center in this fight, with workers and Teamsters hitting the capitol on three separate lobby days, mobilizing over 100 people.”
“The bravery of Taylor Farms workers and the horror stories they told led some opponents of the bill to distance themselves from Taylor Farms as a ‘bad actor’ in this industry,” Bloch added.
Of the legislators who voted on the bill, Taylor Farms workers and Teamsters met with most of them, shining a spotlight on the rising use of temp workers by companies like Taylor Farms in an employer scheme to avoid accountability to their workers.
According to a recent report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), labor outsourcing to temp agencies is a growing problem nationwide. “What our report shows is that a lot of employers are now using subcontracting structures to outsource their labor. And this is sometimes used as a way to evade either labor organizing or labor-standards requirements that apply only to employers,” according to NELP.
In California, Taylor Farms has been highlighted as a major contributor to this national problem. AB 1897 is authored by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez, a strong support of Taylor Farms workers in their fight to join the Teamsters. The bill now moves on to the Senate.