300 mushroom workers protest UFW; union in cahoots to slash wages

Hundreds of mushroom workers are rising up against the UFW, accusing the union of being in cahoots with the employer to slash workers’ wages. Edith Ruiz, a leader of 300 Monterey Mushrooms protesters, says that the UFW and the company want to cut the workers’ salaries almost in half – to minimum wage – and that the UFW is trying to convince the workers to go along. “We are demonstrating because they what to lower our salaries,” Ruiz told Stephanie…

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Isadore Hall evades questions; hides behind ALRB lawyer

During a break in a rare ALRB meeting, Isadore Hall avoided questions and told a reporter to talk to the ALRB lawyer. David Taub of GV Wire tried to ask Hall some questions on May 22, but Hall wouldn’t take any. “We don’t give interviews, so. You should talk to our legal counsel, okay,” Hall told Taub. Hall has evaded facing reporters since he threatened witnesses Hall has evaded the press since his February 28 threats against witnesses scheduled to…

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Brown axes Future Farmers & spends $10 million to attack farmworkers who don’t support him

Governor Jerry Brown used to stand up for the little guy. Now he’s de-funding important an entrepreneurial program to help kids become farmers, while spending $10 million on an agency that has put 2,500 Central Valley farmworkers out of work. All the while, Brown is siding with special interests like the UFW, which represents less than 1% of California farmworkers but rakes in a lot of guilt-and-nostalgia money for his political machine. Future Farmers of America (FFA) helps 469 California…

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Isadore Hall says he thinks we’re all a bunch of ‘motherf***ers’

Next Dimension Bible College graduate Isadore Hall spewed a hateful torrent of filth against farmworkers, calling us a bunch of “motherf***ers.” A witness has come forward who swore that Hall threatened to “get” us for making videos that criticized him. “Well those motherf***ers made a video about me, and I am going to get their ass,” Hall told the witness at a February 28 encounter. Hall was referring to the videos that we made here at Pick Justice. He made…

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ALRB cancels board meeting after witness comes forward against Isadore Hall

Minutes after a witness went public against Isadore Hall, the ALRB canceled its May 11 board meeting, claiming that an unnamed board member was “ill.” The witness – who is anonymous out of fear that the ALRB will retaliate against him or his employer – told of his encounter with Hall on February 28, the night before Hall’s Senate confirmation hearing to be an ALRB board member. State Senator Andy Vidak was the first to make public comment on the…

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Court slaps another $770,000 judgment on UFW

A real California judge slapped the UFW with another $770,000 judgment, raising the total levied against the floundering union to $2 million. Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills ordered the UFW to pay a law firm $770,000 in legal fees after finding the UFW guilty of defrauding its own workers. Earlier, the court ordered UFW to pay $1.2 million in damages to the UFW’s former employees whom it had cheated. In his ruling, Judge Wills said, “the Court has…

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Is Equitable Food Initiative certifying tainted producers?

Has the UFW’s Equitable Food Initiative been certifying companies responsible for tainted produce that spread disease and is linked to at least one salmonella death in California? It looks that way. EFI, chaired by UFW Vice President Erik Nicholson, says it’s all about “food safety.” It has been criticized as acting as a UFW front designed to empower the dying union and inject cash as worker membership continues to fall. Some think that EFI is all about the money. A…

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Senate chief Kevin de Leon: ‘Nothing unseemly’ is going on here

Allegations of “cronyism” have gotten under Senate leader Kevin de Leon’s skin. He didn’t like how critics of former senator Isadore Hall – the subject of heated Senate debate for ALRB confirmation – said that Hall’s appointment reeked of cronyism. “The word cronyism is highly misplaced at this moment,” de Leon said on the Senate floor April 20. “It is not being used properly. It gives that perception to the larger public that something unseemly is happening,” he said. For…

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Amid ugly acrimony, state Senate approves Isadore Hall for ALRB post

Amid heated allegations of state cronyism and racism, the California state Senate voted along party lines to confirm Isadore Hall to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The bitter floor statements featured those who viewed Hall’s appointment to ALRB as an effort by Governor Jerry Brown to keep a political crony financially viable. Last year, Hall lost a congressional campaign to Rep. Nanette Barragán. A Democrat from Los Angeles, Barragán called Hall a crook. Critics of Hall’s ALRB appointment, led by Senator…

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Journalists must understand difference between ALRB’s ‘judge’ and a real judge

News reports about an ALRB administrative ruling show a misunderstanding about a big issue: The difference between ALRB’s enforcement for the UFW, and a real decision by a real judge in a real court of law. Some of the reports confused the UFW, which represents less than 1% of farmworkers in California, with all or most farmworkers. Some of the reporting was just sloppy reporting. Some of it was good reporting, with misleading headlines added by a lazy editor. At…

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Joaquin Arambula sticks it to farmworkers who don’t pay UFW

Joaquin Arambula doesn’t support Central Valley farmworkers. The Fresno politician, a member of the California state assembly, has ignored farmworkers’ repeated pleas for his support against the corrupt and abusive Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). Instead of helping his constituents, Arambula is backing the UFW union and its ALRB government enforcement arm. Arambula cares only for the less than 1% of California farmworkers who pay money to the UFW. He doesn’t care about the rest of us. Pick Justice first met…

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California govt pulls down 2015 audit that found ALRB chronic waste & abuse

The California state government has pulled down electronic copies of a damning 2015 audit of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Like the Gerawan farmworkers ballots from the 2013 ALRB-supervised vote, the government has hidden the evidence. Pick Justice discovered the audit and published an article about it last year. We linked directly to the state website page that contained the audit. That page, http://www.dof.ca.gov/osae/audit_reports/documents/WEBFinalReport-AgriculturalLaborRelationsBoardPerformanceAudit.pdf, is dead. We also discovered that Labor Secretary David Lanier supported the findings of the audit in…

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Fresno Bee column says ALRB and UFW are “partners in crime”

A Fresno Bee column says out loud what a lot of people in the Central Valley have been saying quietly to themselves but seldom out loud: The ALRB and UFW are “partners in crime.” It starts out with a tough question: “When you have a union and a labor board both being sued by former employees for unjust treatment, how can either be expected to deliver their promises of justice to California’s field workers?” Guest writers Tal Cloud and Matt…

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Cesar Chavez Day 2017: A black eye for the Chavez legacy

The ALRB and UFW are so openly against farmworkers that they have damaged Cesar Chavez’s legacy. On the week of Cesar Chavez Day, the state agency and union earned the following headlines: “Corruption and collusion in California labor board,” Forbes, March 26. “Farmworker union underpaid its own workers, judge rules,” Los Angeles Times, March 30. “The ALRB and UFW: Partners in crime,” Fresno Bee, March 30. Pick Justice illustrated the tragedy on its new website, CesarChavezDay.com. We posted an iconic image…

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