IWLA urges rejection of California bill re-regulating warehouses and their customers

Bill would reverse policy enacted in 1980s during Gov. Brown's first term.

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The International Warehouse Logistics Association today urged California Gov. Jerry Brown to veto Assembly Bill 1855 (Torres). The bill regulates the form and content of contracts entered into by California’s warehouse industry.

According to the IWLA, the bill if enacted would roll back 32 years of sensible working economic regulations strictly adhered to by California warehouse owners and operators. Most ironic, the bill reverses a policy this same governor enacted in 1980 during his first term.

AB 1855 was introduced by Assemblymember Torres earlier in 2012, and sought to redress labor law abuses by temporary staffing firms that hired “temp workers” to work in warehouses. However, the bill goes far beyond addressing abuses by these firms. Under AB 1855, warehouse companies and their customers would be required to file copies of warehouse contracts with the California Labor Commissioner in a form, content and manner set by the bill.

“Once again California is out of step with the rest of the United States, and AB 1855 places new contract burdens on any customer that is doing business with a warehouse in California,” said Joel Anderson, IWLA president & CEO.

Anderson noted that warehouse contracts with customers are already covered by the Uniform Commercial Code, a law adopted by all the states to allow companies to do business in states other than the one where they are based, under the same terms of contract law.

IWLA had urged members of the California state legislature to amend the bill in policy committees and on the floor before a final vote was taken. “The California legislature just doesn’t get it. Adding more burdens to businesses, especially those same burdens Gov. Brown removed during his first term, makes it much more economically attractive to store goods out of state especially in Nevada, Arizona and Oregon, and then ship those goods into California,” Anderson said. “That formula can only mean disaster. The loss of jobs and taxes will be immense because California will be the only state to have re-regulated warehouse contractors and contracts.”

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