“If I didn’t allow them in, I’m the one going to jail!” rants a farmer after a California law allowed dozens of union activists to storm onto his farm.
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“You don’t know if they’re mad, if they’re going to get violent,” says one employee who was working when the union arrived with flags and bullhorns, “It was a scary situation.”
The union wanted the workers to strike. Few were interested.
“It is asinine!” says Mike Fahner, the farm’s owner. He points out that unions don’t have the right to access private property without permission in any other industry. “If they came back every day I would have been paralyzed.”
Mike and another business are challenging the law in the Supreme Court. But they lost in two lower courts.
California officials argue that unions must be allowed to go onto farms because “workers remain isolated from the flow of information characteristic of modern society.”
Mike says that’s not true. “Every person has a cell phone in their pocket. [Workers] know how to communicate through Facebook and … Twitter much better than most.
“This is trespassing,” he adds, “You should be going to jail for doing this.”