After spending $10 million to destroy the ballots of 2,600 farmworkers who voted to decertify the UFW, the state board in charge of the vote says it’s “impossible” to know if the workers were expressing their true sentiments.
This is part of the bizarre ruling of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) issued late Friday. The Board said that the Gerawan farmworkers’ 2013 ballots must never be counted and should be destroyed. The ALRB’s $10 million expenditure is equal to $4,000 per ballot, and the board still can’t figure it out.
The Board found the employer, Gerawan Farming, to have broken the law by urging workers to express their grievances and for giving them a raise at a time that was inconvenient for politicians and the UFW.
In its ruling, the ALRB stated, “The ALJ concluded that, given the totality of the circumstances and Gerawan’s unlawful actions, it was impossible to know whether the signatures gathered in support of the decertification petition represented the workers’ true statements. The ALJ further concluded that the misconduct created an environment which would have made it impossible for true employee free choice when it came to vote.”
That’s Sacramento-speak for the ALRB and UFW being displeased that workers got a pay raise before the ALRB and UFW could force a UFW contract on them.
ALRB has spent a third of its expanding annual budget to disenfranchise the Gerawan farmworkers and prevent the votes from being counted.