ALRB makes UFW tell Gerawan workers they have a right not to be in union

The ALRB has ordered the UFW to post this notice, saying that Gerawan farmworkers have the right to vote not to be in the UFW and has the right not to be in any union at all.

In another Christmas present for California farmworkers, the ALRB has ordered the UFW to inform Gerawan workers that they have a right to de-certify the UFW.

This is what Pick Justice has been arguing all along. For the ALRB to acknowledge existing law – and to compel the UFW to inform workers of their rights – is a huge and welcome surprise.

The ALRB also compelled the UFW to inform workers that they have the right “to act together with other workers to help and protect one another.”

ALRB Administrative Law Judge Mark R. Soble ordered the UFW to mail notices to Gerawan farmworkers employed during a September 15 unfair labor practice that the UFW committed, and to post the notice across the San Joaquin Valley.

Among other things, the UFW is being compelled to post the following advisory in English, Spanish, and other languages as appropriate:

“The Agricultural Labor Relations Act is a law that gives you and all other farm workers in California the following rights:

  1. To organize yourselves;
  2. To form, join or help a labor organization or bargaining representative;
  3. To vote in a secret ballot election to decide whether you want a union to represent you;
  4. To bargain with your employer about your wages and working conditions through a union chosen by a majority of the employees and certified by the ALRB;
  5. To act together with other workers to help and protect one another; and
  6. To decide not to do any of these things.”

There it is in black and white: The ALRB acknowledges 40 years of law that says we have the right to decide whether we want to have a union represent us at all.

This is a huge victory for Pick Justice, all Gerawan farmworkers, and agricultural labor everywhere in California.

It’s a simple victory – merely ordering the UFW to advise workers of their rights under the law – and in a normal state it wouldn’t be worthy of comment. But the ALRB has been so biased for so many years against farmworkers who oppose the UFW that we welcome the apparent turn back to legality.

We all know, of course, that the United States Constitution says that our rights are given to us by God, not by government or law, but Pick Justice accepts the terms of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act as we always have.

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