The Chairman of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board says that his agency will not permit farmers to become “benevolent champion” of employers’ rights.
In a bizarre statement that sounds more like an ideological commitment to class conflict than to ensuring peace in the fields, ALRB Chairman William B. Gould IV said: “The Board cannot permit an employer to become the benevolent champion of its employee’s rights.” (See page 75 of the ALRB ruling.)
Gould is saying that the government will not permit employers and workers to have such mutually beneficial relations that they don’t need unions – or government agencies – to serve as intermediaries.
Gould’s elitist view is that farmworkers are too ignorant or stupid to be able to think or function on their own, and that they need elite Stanford professors, lawyers, and establishment politicians to mediate between them and their employers.
Gould & unions stay relevant by stoking permanent conflict
This view requires a permanent state of conflict between the workers and their employers so that there will always be a necessity for politically-connected unions and the politicians who use them.
The 80 year-old Gould seems unable to visualize a time and place when workers and employers could share similar interests. For example, Gerawan Farming offers the highest paying jobs in the industry, with generous benefits that no UFW “bargain” has ever been able to match in the entire state of California. The workers and employer bargained on their own, with no need for a union or government agency.
Yet Gould admitted that the UFW is too lazy to do its job . . .
Gould’s approach shows the moral bankruptcy of the entire ALRB, to say nothing of the UFW itself. In a January 28 speech, Gould expressed frustration that UFW organizing in the fields “has completely disappeared.” He acknowledged that workers were no longer signing up for UFW representation, and indeed were overwhelmingly trying to decertify the union.
. . . so the government will step in to act as a union
He announced that he had a plan for the ALRB essentially to take the UFW’s place by sending government agents in the fields to “educate” farmworkers.
The ALRB chairman admitted to the Los Angeles Times in February that the ALRB might not be able to separate itself from UFW advocacy.
We see where this is going. Under Gould, the ALRB spent $10,000,000 in taxpayer dollars to suppress the votes of 2,600 Gerawan farmworkers from 2013 – an average of about $4,000 per suppressed ballot.
Now, on April 15, the ALRB formally announced what we knew it would do all along: that it would have the farmworkers’ ballots destroyed. The next step presumably will be to force a UFW contract on the workers and their employers.
This is the only way to keep the UFW – and the ALRB – relevant: By stoking permanent conflict among farmworkers in California’s fields.
Read the ALRB’s full ruling to destroy the ballots here: http://pickjustice.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Lupe-Garcia-Lawsuit-2016-04-15-Gerawan-Farming-Decision-and-Order-42-ALRB-1.pdf