Full text of Gould’s resignation letter to Governor Brown

Here is the full text of ALRB Chairman William Gould’s resignation letter to Governor Jerry Brown on January 13, 2017, as provided by the Los Angeles Times. We have highlighted the pertinent sections in bold. Images of the letter appear at the end. Dear Governor Brown, I write to advise you that I am resigning as Chairman of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, effective no later than 5:00 PM Wednesday, February 22, 2017. It has been my honor to serve…

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Now THAT’s collective bargaining! Court unanimously sides with workers and employer

In a remarkable show of how employers and workers can work together against government secrecy, a three-judge panel unanimously struck down a California secrecy law as unconstitutional. A top lawyer for Governor Jerry Brown had told the Fifth Court of Appeal in Fresno that workers should “never” be parties to the process. The United Farm Workers (UFW) did nothing to help the workers it claimed to represent, and instead sided with the Sacramento establishment. Here is a press release issued by Gerawan Farming, the…

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Higher court sides with farmworkers against ALRB secrecy

Farmworker Lupe Garcia just won a big win for all California farmworkers, as well as for journalists and for employers who treat their workers fairly. The victory came from a unanimous three-judge panel in Fresno on May 9. The Fifth Court of Appeal ruled that farmworkers have a right to challenge the ALRB’s secretive “mandatory meeting and conciliation” (MMC) practices. It reversed a lower trial court that had favored the ALRB, finding a state law to be unconstitutional. That was a…

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Local paper notes Genevieve Shiroma effigy at rally against govt secrecy

The local Reedley newspaper ran a feature about our recent protest at the Fresno courthouse, making mention of our larger-than-life caricature of ALRB’s disgraced board member Genevieve Shiroma. The Reedley Exponent story reported that about 100 farmworkers showed up at the Fifth District Court of Appeals on April 20, “on the heels of an April 15 ruling by the state’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board that supported throwing out the results of a November 2013 election intended to decertify representation of Gerawan…

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Judge again says ALRB and UFW colluded on litigation strategy

The ALRB Office of General Counsel and Regional Director colluded with the UFW during the case against Gerawan farmworkers seeking to de-certify the UFW, the ALRB’s own administrative jaw judge has found. “[T]he record should make clear, should the General Counsel and UFW attempt to characterize their litigation strategy as completely independent, that portrayal would be inaccurate,” ALRB administrative law Judge Mark R. Soble said. Soble’s comments are buried in a footnote at the bottom of page 164 of the…

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LA Times report validates Pick Justice’s positions about UFW & ALRB

In an important article about the state government’s nullification of farmworkers’ votes, the Los Angeles Times validates many of Pick Justice’s positions over the past year. The Times made a lot of observations in its April 19 story that reinforce some of its previous reporting and corroborate Pick Justice’s positions: The UFW “was absent from Gerawan’s fields for more than 15 years.” The campaign to decertify the UFW is “the largest labor action in many years.” The ALRB “now finds itself spending…

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Full text of what ALRB judge said about UFW VP Armando Elenes

Even though the ALRB shows incestuous partiality toward the UFW, its administrative “judge,” Mark Soble, doesn’t think much of the union’s vice president, Armando Elenes. Soble also noted the high stakes for the union in forcing Gerawan workers into an ALRB-imposed UFW contract. The ALRB judge noted that the UFW was concerned that its “smallness” contrasted badly with the many thousands of workers at Gerawan. “Most probably Elenes was concerned about conceding the smallness of existing UFW membership, especially in…

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UFW VP ‘Chilito’ Elenes: Credible to attack Gerawan, but otherwise a liar, Soble says

UFW Vice President Armando Elenes is a liar, but is a reliable witness against Gerawan employers and workers, according to the ALRB’s own administrative law judge. Elenes is the UFW vice president who “was in charge of running” the union organizing campaign among Gerawan workers in 2012-13. That reference, on page 42, is used to attack Gerawan. Buried further into the ruling is ALRB administrative law judge Mark R. Soble’s reiteration of a September 2015 ruling in which he called…

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ALRB decision expands scope beyond California

An interesting aspect of the ALRB’s decision to destroy the Gerawan farmworkers’ ballots to decertify the UFW is that the purely state-based board is using non-California precedents to justify its position. In so doing, the ALRB has nationalized what was supposed to be an internal California issue. The ALRB refers to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), based in Washington, D.C., at least 143 times on 50 pages of the 276-page document. Of course, the California ALRB was modeled on…

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ALRB judge says Shiroma’s UFW lobbyist connections are OK & that she is unbiased

Controversial ALRB board member Genevieve Shiroma cannot be accused of bias because of her long political and financial relationship with former UFW strike organizer and current UFW lobbyist Richie Ross. That’s according to ALRB “judge” Mark R. Soble, in his ruling and order that the Gerawan workers ballots to de-certify the UFW must be destroyed. Central Valley labor leader Silvia Lopez, who has been leading the fight to decertify the UFW at Gerawan Farming, filed a petition to disqualify Shiroma…

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After spending $10 million, ALRB says it’s “impossible” to know what 2,600 workers think

After spending $10 million to destroy the ballots of 2,600 farmworkers who voted to decertify the UFW, the state board in charge of the vote says it’s “impossible” to know if the workers were expressing their true sentiments. This is part of the bizarre ruling of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) issued late Friday. The Board said that the Gerawan farmworkers’ 2013 ballots must never be counted and should be destroyed. The ALRB’s $10 million expenditure is equal to $4,000…

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ALRB says it’s “unfair” for Gerawan to solicit worker grievances and give them a raise

It is against the law in California for an employer to request workers to express their grievances. And it’s against the law for an employer to give them a raise without government or union approval. That’s what the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board says in a ruling to destroy the ballots of 2,600 Gerawan farmworkers who voted in 2013 on whether to decertify the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. According to the ALRB’s administrative law “judge” (ALJ) Mark R. Soble,…

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Asleep on the job: Worker calls for ALRB’s snoozing Judge Soble to get the boot

ALRB’s administrative law judge is so inept that he falls asleep during hearings on which he renders judgments. A prominent San Joaquin Valley farmworker organizer has called for ALRB Judge Mark Soble to be disqualified because he uses hearings as times to take a catnap. Silvia Lopez has petitioned the ALRB to disqualify Soble from an upcoming hearing “because of his inability to stay awake during the six month trial that ended in March 2015.” At least 5 attorneys submitted…

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Judge Mark R. Soble makes $156,000 a year as an ALRB employee

Mark R. Soble, the administrative law judge who decided September 17 to destroy the Gerawan farmworkers’ 2013 ballots, earns $156,000 a year as an employee of the ALRB. Soble is widely characterized as a simple “judge,” with the implication that he is an objective member of the judicial branch of government. In fact, he is an “administrative law judge” – with the formal title “Hearing Officer I,” for California’s executive branch of government, as an employee of the Agricultural Labor…

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