An interesting aspect of the ALRB’s decision to destroy the Gerawan farmworkers’ ballots to decertify the UFW is that the purely state-based board is using non-California precedents to justify its position.
In so doing, the ALRB has nationalized what was supposed to be an internal California issue.
The ALRB refers to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), based in Washington, D.C., at least 143 times on 50 pages of the 276-page document.
Of course, the California ALRB was modeled on the NLRB 40 years ago, since the NLRB does not protect agricultural workers. However, as a document for what would appear to be a purely single-state issue, the ALRB has now taken its dispute with Gerawan Farming and Gerawan’s farmworkers from California to the national level.
ALRB Chairman William B. Gould IV used to be head of the NLRB in the 1990s.
Gould’s hand can be seen in this decision. By spreading the scope beyond California, Gould could have added new political and legal implications to what had been confined to state courts.
What if the workers respond by using non-California precedents to show that the ALRB operated wrongly – perhaps illegally – by:
- colluding with the UFW,
- trying to prevent the workers from voting in the first place,
- intimidating voters before they cast their ballots,
- refusing to count the ballots,
- spending $10 million to destroy the ballots,
- illegally colluding with a UFW agitator to provoke a court action (exposed by a whistleblower),
- deciding officially to destroy the ballots, and
- presumably acting to impose a UFW contract on the workers whose votes it refused to count.
Click here for the full text of the ALRB decision to destroy the workers ballots: Lupe Garcia Lawsuit 2016-04-15 Gerawan Farming Decision and Order 42 ALRB 1