In an over-the-top breach of freedom of speech, the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board banned Pick Justice from distributing leaflets to farm workers at ALRB’s Visalia office
Pick Justice spokesman Jesse Rojas sent an advance copy of the leaflet to Chris Schneider, a lifelong UFW activist who is Regional Director of the taxpayer-funded ALRB office in Visalia.
“They have been reviewed by me and I have deemed them inappropriate by the ALRB due to the partisan views expressed therein,” Schneider said in an October 19 email.
Schneider abused his office to protect UFW
In banning the Pick Justice flyer, Schneider abused his authority to protect the UFW from criticism. His reasoning was false. The leaflets had no “partisan message.” They were completely non-partisan.
But they did criticize the UFW. And they told farmworkers, in Spanish, how to de-certify the UFW.
The banned flyers, similar to Pick Justice posters appearing across the Central Valley, tell farmworkers that UFW members are losing their jobs in California, and that their dues will have to pay for a huge legal settlement for UFW employees who had been cheated by the union. The flyers have a QR code to allow people to view the original Los Angeles Times article about the legal judgment.
“Don’t be another statistic,” the banned flyer warned. “Save yourself if you can.” It then explained how to appeal to the ALRB to de-certify a union.
The ALRB’s Schneider said it was too “partisan.”
Pick Justice asked ALRB for guidance
Pick Justice asked Schneider what changes he would recommend to make the leaflets acceptable for distribution at the ALRB office in Visalia.
“Thank you for reviewing the leaflets,” Rojas said. “What changes would make the leaflets suitable for ALRB to distribute? I’m sure you agree that farmworkers need to know that UFW was found guilty of violating labor laws and that farmworkers themselves will end up paying. So please help me change the leaflet.”
ALRB never responded
The ALRB was already distributing a leaflet that warned workers about bad employers. Pick Justice welcomed ALRB to help pattern its anti-Bad Union flyer after the ALRB’s existing anti-Bad Employer flyer.
“Using that as a guide, let’s work together to protect farmworkers, or please at least let me know what in my leaflet that you disagree with or I should change,” Rojas proposed.
It was important, the Pick Justice spokesman said, to make sure “that farmworkers have the correct understanding of the judgement against UFW, who will pay for it, UFW’s overall history of losing members, and companies closing after UFW has attacked them.”
Schneider never responded.
Download the leaflet here
Below are images of the 4-panel leaflet, and a PDF that can be printed on a standard sheet of paper and folded. We welcome everyone to circulate it.
Download PDF: Banned by the ALRB