AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s House of Representatives has passed a bill last week that eliminates the right of workers at the former DeCoster egg farms to unionize.
The bill passed 73-69 along party lines Tuesday, with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed. It still faces more votes in the House and Senate.
The bill eliminates collective bargaining rights for workers at the farms formerly operated by DeCoster Egg Farms. A division of Minnesota-based Lake O’Lakes Inc. has taken over the farms under a lease-purchase agreement.
Republican Rep. Dale Crafts said no other farm workers in Maine or in the U.S. other than one county in California have the right to unionize.
Democrats argued that the former DeCoster farms have a history of workplace violations in Maine and that the bill guts workers’ rights.