Gov. Brown signs job protections for grocery workers

Gov. Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed several bills into law Monday.

(Gregory Bull / AP)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed 14 bills, including a measure that requires that large grocery stores keep their workers for at least 90 days after a change in store ownership.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said her measure protects grocery workers from losing their jobs in the event of a corporate merger.

“Wall Street mergers and acquisitions that make big money for corporations and private equity firms should not jeopardize jobs of the grocery workers who live and work in our communities,” said Gonzalez in a statement. “This is a common sense opportunity to save people’s jobs and make sure the most-experienced, best-prepared workers stay on the job during a complicated transition period.”

The bill was strongly backed by labor groups, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents grocery workers. 


Business groups opposed the bill, arguing that it would force a company to keep its predecessor’s employees and adhere to contracts that the new owner did not negotiate. The California Chamber of Commerce labeled the measure, AB 359, a “job killer.”

Brown also signed a bill that expands local government immunity from liability for injuries to recreational users of public skateboard parks to include riders of bicycles, scooters, in-line skates, roller skates and wheelchairs. Assemblyman Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) authored the bill, AB 1146.

The governor vetoed a couple of bills, including one by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) that would have raised the cap for sales taxes levied by cities and counties for transportation projects. In most counties, the cap is 2% although the bill would have set the cap at the 3% already provided in separate legislation to Los Angeles County.

“Although I have approved raising the limit for individual counties I am reluctant to approve this measure in view of all the taxes being discussed and proposed for the 2016 ballot,” Brown wrote in his veto message on AB 464.




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