Brown axes Future Farmers & spends $10 million to attack farmworkers who don’t support him

Governor Jerry Brown used to stand up for the little guy. Now he’s de-funding important an entrepreneurial program to help kids become farmers, while spending $10 million on an agency that has put 2,500 Central Valley farmworkers out of work. All the while, Brown is siding with special interests like the UFW, which represents less than 1% of California farmworkers but rakes in a lot of guilt-and-nostalgia money for his…

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Fresno County officially recognizes ALRB abuse of farmworkers

In a historic gesture of solidarity, the County of Fresno has officially recognizes that the ALRB has been abusing thousands of farmworkers. The County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation designating March 28, 2017 as “Dignity and Right for Valley Farmworkers Day.” Pick Justice leader Silvia Lopez and other movement leaders joined the elected officials who signed the proclamation. This recognition, three days before César Chávez Day, reads like an…

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New York Times looks at ‘collapse’ of California’s organized farmworker movement

California’s organized farm worker movement is in such a state of collapse that the New York Times has started to pay attention. The New York Times doesn’t blame the growers. In a remarkable article, it lays blame squarely on the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and its government protector, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The former ALRB chief, in turn, blames undocumented workers, who don’t want to organize in unions.…

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Genevieve Shiroma, new ALRB chair, brings record of ethics problems & mismanagement

Instead of reaching outside ALRB for competent leadership, Governor Jerry Brown has promoted new mismanagement from within: Genevieve Shiroma. “I am absolutely an honorable person,” Shiroma insisted to the state Senate during her confirmation hearing for an unprecedented fourth term last summer. Not everybody agrees. Last spring, California Labor Secretary David Lanier agreed with a state audit that found the ALRB to be a wasteful, abusive, unaccountable organization. We reported that…

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ALRB Chairman Gould quits in ‘angry’ rage

The ALRB’s only respected member has quit in what the Los Angeles Times describes as an “angry letter” to Governor Jerry Brown. Adding insult to injury is that fact that ALRB Chairman William B. Gould IV, a Berkeley law professor emeritus and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, made a show of resigning after his term had already expired, but while he remained until a replacement was confirmed.…

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ALRB’s conflicts of interest with UFW deepen with Shawver’s secret return

Silas Shawver Jumps For The UFW

The ALRB’s re-hiring of UFW militant Silas Shawver, after sacking him last year amid allegations of wrongdoing, shows that the state agency responsible for “helping” farmworkers remains in the hands of the politically favored union. UFW represents only 1 percent of California farmworkers. Yet with the ALRB’s collusion, the UFW can control the fates of the 99 percent who have opted not to join. ALRB secretly re-hired the disgraced Shawver…

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We voted to de-certify the UFW 3 years ago today. ALRB still has our ballots.

Three years ago today, 2,400 of us Gerawan workers voted on whether to de-certify the United Farm Workers (UFW), which had abandoned us for 20 years. The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) supervised the entire process. But it didn’t like the results. So ALRB seized our ballots and stored them in a safe in the ALRB’s Visalia office, then run by UFW activist lawyer Silas Shawver. That was on…

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ALRB secretly re-hires UFW militant Silas Shawver

The ALRB has quietly re-hired controversial UFW activist Silas Shawver as the scandal-plagued agency’s Deputy General Counsel. That seems to be a promotion from his previous post as Assistant General Counsel. Shawver was removed under a cloud in 2015. Not everyone inside California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board is happy about Shawver being back. And some are talking. Shawver drew fire after Pick Justice revealed his conflicts of interests on the…

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Shiroma’s secretive ALRB has no public events on its calendar

The secretive Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is in virtual shutdown since Genevieve Shiroma’s reappointment to the board last summer. At least in public. Despite ALRB’s doubled budget to go after the Gerawan farmworkers who challenged the UFW, nothing appears on ALRB’s public calendar. Earlier this year, state Labor Secretary David Lanier agreed with an audit that ripped ALRB for being a wasteful, abusive, unaccountable organization. Yet ALRB doesn’t seem…

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Summary of Shiroma’s disastrous Senate confirmation hearing

More information on Genevieve Shiroma’s disastrous performance before her California Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing on June 20. We’ll have the transcripts soon: • Shiroma denied any bias toward the UFW, but none of the senators believed her. Republicans attacked Shiroma – and Democrats praised her – for her UFW bias. • Shiroma admitted everything that Pick Justice said about her long-term political and financial relationship with UFW lobbyist Richie…

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