This governor of California vetoed SB 1121. The bill would have ended 70 years of blatant racial discrimination in California by extending the same overtime rights you and I enjoy to the nearly half million farmworkers toiling in the fields.
Let’s be clear: this is a public official supporting with his power and authority the systematic abuse of the thousands and thousands of people who do the work that keeps you alive. There is little other way to look at it. History will judge him an even worse racist than those of 50 or 100 years ago because Schwarzeneggar should have known better.
The reason he gave for his veto is that the cost would be too high for the industry, forcing them to higher fewer workers. He wrote: “Unfortunately, this measure, while well-intended, will not improve the lives of California’s agricultural workers and instead will result in additional burdens on California businesses, increased unemployment and lower wages.”
This is the same reason that was given when they tried to ban the short-handle hoe; or get rid of the Bracero Program; or limit the use of cancer-causing pesticides; or force employers to provide restrooms for workers. Like all those cases, the reason is bullshit. In each of these instances, profits rose after the industry was forced to act ethically.
If you are so-inclined, you can email the governor and tell him what an ass he is. If there is an afterlife, I hope his is spent bent over in the hot sun feeding a bunch of fat people who don’t know (or care) he exists.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.