Farm workers ask ALRB to respect their voting rights

Farm workers petition ALRB to count their votes on whether they want to be unionized. ALRB has not counted the ballots, which were cast in 2013.

Farm workers petition ALRB to count their votes on whether they want to be unionized. ALRB has not counted the ballots, which were cast in 2013.

A group of laborers from Central Valley appeared before the ALRB to ask that the board count their votes on whether or not they want to be represented by a union.

“From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely ask that we get our votes counted, and to know what’s the end to our situation,” a worker tells the ALRB in Spanish, through an interpreter. “What I want, what everyone here wants, is our votes to be counted.”

The workers voted in 2013, but ALRB has refused to count the votes, keeping the ballots stored in a safe with no timeline for counting them. Instead, the ALRB raised vague concerns about irregularities that it has yet to investigate.

“Nobody’s telling us to do this, our employer or UFW. Nobody’s telling us and asking us to do this,” farm worker Silvia Lopez tells the ALRB. “We’re here ’cause it’s about our money, it’s our family. You guys can see there’s a lot of women here, that we have kids and we’re sacrificing [for] our kids at home, pay day care and all that stuff to come here and ask for help.”

“We don’t need representation from any union,” a fellow worker tells the board in Spanish. A video of the event appears below.

About Jesse Rojas

Farm worker rights activist and spokesman for Pick Justice and www.pickjustice.com

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