The California Teamsters, which works to unify local unions, came out against proposition 2. Here’s the press release:
CALIFORNIA TEAMSTERS UNION OPPOSES PROPOSITION 2
Labor Group Representing 250,000 California Working Families
Opposes the Anti-Consumer, UN-SAFE Food Initiative
LOS ANGELES, CA – This week the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council voted to oppose Prop. 2, ‘Standards for Confining Farm Animals. Initiative Statute.’ Joining Californians for SAFE Food, a growing coalition of public health and food safety experts, labor unions, consumers, family farmers, and veterinarians, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council is urging a no vote on Prop. 2 to all of its members statewide.
“The ballot language of Proposition 2 fails to provide protections for any workers involved in hen egg production, processing or distribution, which is unacceptable to the California Teamsters,” said Barry Broad, Executive Director, California Teamsters Public Affairs Council. “The proponents of proposition 2 have written a ballot initiative that is too vague in terms of who is subject to law enforcement proceedings which allows local agencies to interpret the law as they see fit. It is in the best interest of our workers and their families to vote No on Prop. 2 and send a strong message of unity to defeat this anti-worker ballot initiative.”
California businesses, workers and consumers significantly depend on California egg production, which produces 4.9 billion eggs annually valued at $323 million. If Prop. 2 is passed, Californians will have virtually no options to purchase locally-produced, fresh eggs and be forced to rely on eggs shipped from other states and Mexico that do not have the same high food safety standards as California. Modern housing systems for egg-laying hens, banned under Prop. 2, purposely keep hens indoors to protect them from exposure to migratory and wild birds that can carry Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and other diseases. An outbreak of Avian Flu would be detrimental to the state, its business climate and economy.
“The Teamsters have stepped up to protect California workers and consumers by opposing Prop. 2, the UN-SAFE food initiative,” said Julie Buckner, campaign spokeswoman. “Prop. 2 is a risky and costly measure that jeopardizes food safety and public health. California working families can’t afford Prop. 2 especially at a time when Californians are struggling with rising unemployment rates, a deepening mortgage crisis, and sky-rocketing food and gas prices.”
According to the recently released UC Davis economic impact study (http://aic.ucdavis.edu/publications/eggs/egg_initiative.htm), Prop. 2 will eliminate almost all of the state’s egg industry in five years and further harm the state’s economy due to resulting job and revenue losses. Eliminating most of California’s egg industry, Prop. 2 will cost the state $615 million in economic activity and a statewide loss of 4,750 jobs.
Prop. 2 is a risky, dangerous and costly measure banning almost all modern egg production in California. Prop. 2 jeopardizes food safety and public health; wipes out Californians’ access to locally grown, fresh eggs; harms consumers by driving up prices at grocery stores and restaurants; and creates a dependency on eggs shipped from other states and Mexico.
Californians for SAFE Food is a broad-based and growing coalition of public health and food safety experts, labor unions, consumers, family farmers and veterinarians who want to keep food choices in California safe, local and affordable. The coalition has already received the endorsement of a number of prominent groups and individuals, including the American College of Poultry Veterinarians; Agricultural Council of California; Association of California Veterinarians; Association of Veterinarians in Egg Production; California Conference Board of the Amalgamated Transit Union; California Grocers Association; California Teamsters Public Affairs Council; California Women for Agriculture; General Teamsters Local Union 386; Kern County Taxpayers Association; Marin County Farm Bureau; Merced County Board of Supervisors; Mexican American Political Association; National Animal Interest Alliance; San Diego County Farm Bureau; Dr. Craig Reed, DVM, former Deputy Administrator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA; among many others.
For more information about the Californians for SAFE Food coalition and the “NO on Proposition 2” campaign, visit www.safecaliforniafood.org .