ALRB’s Paul Starkey expresses annoyance as farmworkers visit Sacramento

Farmworker leader Silvia Lopez led a small group to Sacramento to petition elected officials and visit the ALRB. During the February 29 visit, the farmworkers talked to lawmakers and ALRB staff. ALRB special counsel Paul Starkey expressed surprise and annoyance that the workers would dare to visit the secretive board’s fortified offices. The big issues: ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma’s conflicts of interests, and the expenditure of $10 million to suppress Gerawan farmworkers’ ballots to decertify the UFW. “We went to…

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Susan Sarandon debunks Dolores Huerta

Actress Susan Sarandon has taken on UFW warhorse Dolores Huerta, discrediting the once-influential labor figure in a series of social media comments. Farmworkers have criticized Huerta for being a has-been relic of an age long past, and for not standing up for the workers of today, who feel that the UFW is in cahoots with the ALRB. Many or most of today’s California farmworkers weren’t even alive when Huerta was an active union organizer. Wearing Hillary Clinton campaign bling at…

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Assemblywoman rips ALRB for “bias” and “corruption”

A state lawmaker representing California’s farming communities has ripped the Agricultural Labor Relations Board for being a biased and corrupt agency illegally in cahoots with the dying UFW. Assemblywoman Shannon Grove tore into the ALRB in a guest article for the Ridgecrest News-Review. Here are highlights of what she said: The UFW “had lost 90 percent of its membership and was bleeding money, so it set its sights on this employee group near Fresno” to force thousands of Gerawan workers…

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Lawmaker says ALRB’s Shiroma must step down for ‘unethical behavior’

ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma must be “removed” from the board because of “unethical behavior,” a California state lawmaker said today. At issue is what Assemblywoman Shannon Grove calls “Shiroma’s financial and political ties with the United Farm Workers (UFW), including $120,000 in consulting payments she made to the union’s lobbyist and former strike organizer, Richie Ross. Some of these political consulting payments were paid while Shiroma sat in judgement of a dispute between the UFW and San Joaquin farm workers.”…

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Gould admits ALRB might not be able to separate its probes from union advocacy

Agricultural employers have a “legitimate concern” that the ALRB might not be able to “firewall” its investigations from its “education” of workers to accept union contracts, the ALRB’s own chairman admits. “I think that is a legitimate concern, and it’s something we want to make sure is addressed in the final rule” later this year, ALRB chief William B. Gould IV tells the Los Angeles Times. In January, Gould publicly acknowledged that during his two years as chairman of the…

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ALRB hit with big lawsuit for helping unions trespass on private property

The ALRB took another big hit today when the Pacific Legal Foundation filed suit in federal court to prevent the state agency from helping the UFW to trespass on private property and harass non-union workers. The PLF is representing Cedar Point Nursery in Dorris (Siskiyou County), and Fowler Packing Co. in Fresno. The agency, chaired by William B. Gould IV, “is violating the constitutional property rights of the state’s agricultural landowners by forcing them to allow union activists onto their…

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Western Growers Association picks up on our latest video

An important agricultural advocacy group has seen our latest video and likes it. The Western Growers Association re-posted our new video about ALRB corruption, calling our story “powerful.” “PickJustice.com, a website dedicated to farm workers’ rights, recently posted a video charging the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board and the United Farm Workers Union with colluding to prevent the farmworkers’ votes from being counted in a decertification election demanded by the workers,” the WGA said. The WGA article is headlined, “Powerful…

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Fresno Bee: Ethics questions cloud Shiroma’s ability to serve on ALRB

ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma’s ethics are so clouded that she cannot serve as an objective member of the state board, the Fresno Bee reports. “Shiroma’s career is so inexorably linked to the political goals of the union that she cannot possibly render a fair and objective decision,” says Fresno attorney Anthony Raimondo, representing farmworker Silvia Lopez, who led a petition drive against the UFW in 2013. The ALRB still refuses to comment on questions about Shiroma’s ethics problems, raising questions…

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Gould admits that UFW isn’t working, and that ag workers don’t want unions

Word is spreading nationwide that ALRB Chairman William Gould has admitted that California’s agricultural unions aren’t doing their job, and that farm workers don’t want the unions. Gould’s January 28 admission to a business group in Monterey has made the news in Washington, DC. Not only did Gould accuse the agricultural unions of failing to organize in the fields, as we reported yesterday. Gould said that, ever since he has been ALRB chairman, not a single group of farm workers…

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ALRB Chairman Gould says UFW activity “has completely disappeared”

The UFW and other unions are doing nothing for agricultural workers, ALRB Chairman William Gould said in a January 28 speech. “Union organizational activity in California agriculture at this moment is completely moribund,” Gould told the Agricultural Personnel Management Association’s 36th Annual Forum in Monterey. Underlining his point, Gould stated, “union activity has completely disappeared” among farmworkers. Even more emphatically, he said with an exclamation point, “union organizing has diminished to the point of non-existence!” That’s a blistering indictment of…

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Watch the video: Workers explain how ALRB exploits them

California farmworkers explain why they think the ALRB is a corrupt, exploitative state agency that abuses them by trying to force them to join a politically-connected union. Many of the workers, who came to America as immigrants, express dismay that the type of political corruption in their native countries is alive and well in California. “Perhaps they think that we are ignorant,” says one worker. “Perhaps they think that we are worthless.”

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ALRB’s Shiroma gave cash to Senator Steinberg, who then introduced legislation to empower ALRB

ALRB member Genevieve Shiroma gave a campaign contribution to state Senator Darrell Steinberg just before Steinberg introduced legislation to expand Shiroma’s power. The revelation is part of farmworker Silvia Lopez’s 267-page legal brief explaining why Shiroma should be disqualified to serve on the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. The Lopez brief states on page 16, “Shiroma was a political contributor to State Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg just before Sen. Steinberg introduced SB 25, which would have dramatically increased the powers…

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Massive 267-page brief outlines why Shiroma should be disqualified

Genevieve Shiroma should be disqualified from serving on the ALRB because of her long-standing financial and political connections to the UFW, a farmworker says in a massive 267-page brief. Through her attorney, farmworker Silvia Lopez says she “has been denied due process and a fair hearing in this matter due to prosecutorial misconduct, and faces a further violation of her statutory and Constitutional rights due if Member Shiroma is permitted to preside over this matter.” Lopez says that she and…

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Shiroma should be disqualified from serving on ALRB, farmworker says in complaint

Long-standing ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma (@GenShiroma) is too tied in with the UFW and a prominent UFW lobbyist, and should be disqualified from serving another term, a farmworker alleges. Silvia Lopez, who has led a farmworker revolt in the San Joaquin Valley against the ALRB-UFW attempt to force a contract on the workers against their will, makes the allegation in a complaint filed earlier this week. Lopez’s attorney lays out Shiroma’s rap sheet, showing that ALRB’s credibility as a…

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