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 Patterson raise a lot of questions in their Fresno Bee op-ed, and the ALRB and UFW can’t answer them without admitting that they’re partners in a criminal racket.
The dying UFW is too lazy to organize, and needs the ALRB to force state-controlled UFW contracts on workers. The ALRB needs the UFW to give it legitimacy, and to serve as the Jerry Brown administration’s tool to pay back the iconic UFW and make it look like someone in the state actually cares about farmworkers.
Ex-ALRB employee sues agency for retaliation against her
“Take recent revelations from a whistleblower inside the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB): Pauline Alvarez, a former Board field examiner with decades of experience in the agency, has filed a retaliation lawsuit against her former employers,” Cloud and Patterson write.
“Alvarez alleges that ALRB lawyers instructed her and other agents to engage in witness tampering and manufacturing of evidence to benefit the UFW in the union’s labor dispute with Gerawan Farming, Inc,” they continue.
“Worse, Alvarez alleges in her suit that she was punished for balking at engaging in the illegal and unethical activity.”
Ex-UFW employees win wage theft suit against union
The Monterey Superior Court found the UFW guilty of ripping off its own workers, and retaliating against a worker who tried to set up an employee’s union.
“That’s right,” Cloud and Patterson say, “the union allegedly formed by Cesar Chavez to secure just pay for farmworkers is guilty of underpayingits own workers.”
“It’s shameful that a union that says it protects the human rights of farmworkers has been violating the rights of its own employees,” one of the former UFW organizers, Francisco Cerritos, says. “It’s a product of the new management of the UFW. They no longer represent the workers.”
Other Central Valley growers are too chicken to speak the truth about ALRB
“Many growers in the Valley have looked upon the persecution of the Gerawan workers with disgust, but have been reluctant to publicly say how they feel. Sacramento, after all, is an enormous and ravenous crocodile, and growers hope that once it eats Gerawan, it will be sated and sleepy and let them alone,” Cloud and Patterson argue.
Time for FBI to investigate ALRB
The one-party state of California is obviously too corrupt to permit the checks and balances necessary to get to the bottom of the problem.
“Pauline Alvarez’s story we know, thanks to her bravery. But does anyone think she’s the only one with such a tale to tell?” ask Cloud and Patterson. “How many board employees were told to lie, cheat and steel on behalf of the union since Brown created the Board in 1975?”
“Fresno Assemblyman Jim Patterson recently called on the FBI to investigate Gov. Jerry Brown’s corrupt institution. This would be a worthwhile use of the FBI’s resources; after all, investigating and prosecuting public corruption is one of its core missions.”