Press Release

SCOTUS Decision Threatens Farmworkers’ Right to Organize

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid decision holding that California’s access regulation, which gives farmworkers a limited right to meet with union organizers during nonwork time on the employers’ properties, constitutes a “per se” physical taking:

We are deeply disappointed that the court reversed a decades-old rule that allowed farmworkers to exercise their fundamental right to organize at the location where they work as an unconstitutional “taking” of their employers’ property. As the state of California recognized more than 45 years ago, meeting with the union during off-hours at their workplace is the only practical way for workers to organize when they must regularly move from farm to farm throughout the growing season. The AFL-CIO will do everything in our power to help California farmworkers find other pathways to exercise their right to form a union to gain a voice at work and ensure safe and healthy working conditions.

We are pleased that all members of the court did reject the agricultural employers’ most radical arguments, which would have severely undermined crucial health and safety protections as well as long-established access rights under the National Labor Relations Act.  

However, the grudging manner in which the court’s majority accepted important regulatory systems that protect the basic rights of working people and, by extension, the public at large underlines what we repeatedly have said about workers’ right to organize—that in order to ensure all workers have a fair shot in exercising our rights, Congress needs to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018