Property Rights

A California Law Allows Union Organizers To Invade Farms Without Permission. This Lawsuit Wants To Change That.

The Supreme Court will decide if the rule violates property rights.

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Before dawn, dozens of union activists invaded a strawberry farm, shouting through bullhorns. This frightened workers and infuriated the farm's owner, Mike Fahner, who thought that in America, owning property means you have a right to control access to that property—your home is your castle, and all that.

Not in California, where politicians allow union organizers to raid farms.

"If I didn't allow them, I'm the one going to jail," says an outraged Fahner in my new video. "That is asinine."

The property invasion law's supporters say the United Farm Workers union deserves the exception to property rules because rich farmers abuse migrant workers.

I threw their argument at Fahner, who replied that it's absurd to say he abuses workers, because they keep coming back: "450 people travel 400 miles… Why in the world, if they were being abused, would they continue to return year after year?"

Because they don't know they have other options, says the union. They also don't know about their right to unionize, so unions must come onto farms to tell them about union benefits.

The union's predawn farm invasion didn't win over many of Fahner's employees. Fewer than 10 percent joined the union. Fahner already pays almost double California's minimum wage.

But the protests themselves impose a cost. He only has six weeks to harvest, pack, ship and process his strawberry plants. "If we miss that window, you destroy the fields."

In response to the farmers' complaints, California Deputy Attorney General Matthew Wise claimed, "Any access to the property is brief, unobtrusive…"

But the law allows union organizers to enter a farm three hours a day, up to 120 days a year. That's hardly "brief" or "unobtrusive."

This week, Fahner and another business, Fowler Packing, challenged the law at the Supreme Court. I hope the Court sends a strong message to California's union-owned politicians: Get off people's private property!

In earlier court battles, Wise said the exception to private property rules is justified because "workers remain isolated … from the flow of information that is characteristic of modern society."

But that's not true. Maybe it was true in 1975 when the law passed, but now there's the internet. And cellphones.

"Every person has a cellphone in their pocket," says Fahner

"All have phones?" I ask.

"Yes," Fahner replies. "They know how to communicate through Facebook and through Twitter, much better than most!"

Even if they didn't, the union could always approach workers after work at their motels.

"All those union people had access to [the motel rooms]. They could knock on their door and talk to them about their agenda."

Plus, the union has two radio stations.

But it's much more fun to intimidate businesses with predawn protests.

California officials now argue that this Supreme Court case "threatens … public health." Leftist media like Vox quickly agrees, claiming that denying access to farms "could endanger government functions like fire inspection and workplace safety."

But that's not true, says Fahner's pro-bono attorney from the Pacific Legal Foundation, Joshua Thompson. He points out that "Those types of routine government inspections are searching in a reasonable manner. What happened here is the government is taking our property… just giving that to a third party to come on to proselytize. To use bullhorns to intimidate."

I asked the United Farm Workers union for their side of the story. They didn't respond.

So, in my video, Fahner gets the last word.

He uses it well, saying, "This is trespassing. You should be going to jail for doing this."

COPYRIGHT 2021 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
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  1. California is getting more and more unfriendly to business. The union just wants that sweet dues money. Seems most of his employees figured that out. They don’t care if they ruin this man’s growing season.

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    1. The first tipped off for the workers was when the organizers refused to help them meet their quota that day, stating, “Us do manual labor, what do you think we are, deplorables?”.

      1. “Us do manual labor, what do you think we are, deplorables why do you think we became union reps?”

        FTFY

    2. It’s the lawyers. When people lose the lawyers win. Even when their clients lose they win. It’s not about Republicans versus Democrats, it’s about lawyers versus everyone else. The Democrats just tend to have more fat ass lawyers.

      First thing we do, we woodchip all the lawyers.

      1. +1

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  4. “A California Law Allows Union Organizers To Invade Farms Without Permission.”

    Well, John, it reads like the organizers have permission.
    The California legislature gave them permission.

    The proper solution is for the pickers to beat the hell out of the organizers every time their work is interrupted.

    1. In the early days of NUCOR steel, union organizers had to be rescued by management. It seems the workers liked low base pay with bonuses for meeting targets, and a guaranteed college education for their kids.

      (Taken from Good to Great, by Jim Collins).

      1. An old boss of mine used to be a packing shed foreman. Once day the farm workers union came in an organized. Workers demanded the prevailing wages. They won. They got their prevailing wages. LESS THAN THEIR NON-UNION CURRENT WAGES. Next year they overwhelmingly voted to leave the union.

  5. Leftist media like Vox quickly agrees, claiming that denying access to farms “could endanger government functions like fire inspection and workplace safety.”

    And the mask slips a bit more. If Vox and others consider union reps as government officials, then no problem, right?

  6. “Frightened”

    Probably because they thought it was an immigration raid. I don’t believe a word out of the mouth of a Republican. You mfers lie and lie and lie and if it’s not outright lying it’s some version of a lie.

    1. So, same as Democrats then?

      BTW, which Republicans are you referring to in this instance?

      1. Well this was a crop field. So the straw men Republicans, of course.

    2. wow are you brainwashed and stupid….aka a Democrat

    3. Probably because they thought it was an immigration raid.

      I’m unclear on when it is and when it isn’t racist to assume all farm workers are illegal immigrants. Do you have some sort of chart or primer I can consult? Is there a Vox explainer, maybe?

      1. It’s always racist, unless you’re a Democrat. Much like sending a prominent black woman an image of a KKK hood is always a racist threat, unless you’re a Democrat congressional candidate.

    4. lol – right. Democrats believe it’s ok to see someone walking on public property in non designated areas to be “trespassing” worthy of being shot in the fact; but in this case believe wholesale takeover for short periods of time to not be considered trespassing.

  7. “…who thought that in America, owning property means you have a right to control access to that property—your home is your castle, and all that.”

    The farm is a business, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act quashed business owners’ right to control access to their property.

    1. Thats not really the case though is it. Even if it did apply here it is only applicable to the public portions of the business. If the areas they entered are not normally open to the public then they would be granted no accomodations under that act.

      1. That day “feelings” took over principles.

  8. Twice the minimum wage in CA is $28 an hour. That sounds pretty damn good for unskilled labor.

    And look at all the red flags the union folks have. I wonder if they chose that color for a reason.

    1. A good waiter can make that easily from the tips. Some farm jobs on piece meal pay can do can that. Back breaking work when you’re crouched over the strawberries, but it can be done.

  9. You should be able to shoot the union dumb fucks for trespassing

  10. Here’s a suggestion: Californians should support a ballot initiative that would allow taxpayers to enter the property on which state legislators live or work for three hours a day, 120 times per year, so that the taxpayers can use bullhorns to More effectively utilize their constitutional right to petition.

    1. See, this was my first thought.

      “In response to the farmers’ complaints, California Deputy Attorney General Matthew Wise claimed, “Any access to the property is brief, unobtrusive…””

      So, clearly, someone needs to go into his office and yell at him about joining a union, for three hours a day, 120 days a year, through a bullhorn…

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