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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Judge gives Gerawan access to ALRB whistleblower documents

A state judge has granted Gerawan Farming access to internal ALRB documents that a whistleblower exposed as part of a conspiracy to wage a legal offensive against the fruit grower. According to Ag Accent, an industry newsletter, “the documents involve a whistleblower in the agency who witnessed preparation of materials that falsely accused Gerawan of terminating a worker for advocating support for the union, and encouraging other workers to vote to accept the union.” After making a tentative decision in…

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Secretive ALRB refuses to answer questions

The ALRB’s refusal to answer direct questions caused one journalist to reprint the questions – and the ALRB’s non-answers. Here they are, as published in CalWatchdog.com. “The American Media Institute emailed 11 sets of questions to Agricultural Labor Relations Board Chairman William B. Gould IV and the other board members on Oct. 29. Board Acting Executive Secretary and Special Board Counsel Paul M. Starkey replied in an email and letter on Oct. 30. What follows are the questions, and Starkey’s…

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ALRB’s silence to reporters reeks of cover-up

The ALRB is as tight-lipped as ever with reporters who ask questions about wrongdoing, suggesting that the Board has something to cover-up. CalWatchdog ran an investigative piece about the whistleblower inside ALRB who came forward in May, alleging that the Office of Legal Counsel – then led by Sylvia Torres-Guillen – had fabricated information to deceive the Board into supporting more legal action against Gerawan Farming. “The whistleblower said that ‘false statements, inaccuracies and vague information had been written into’…

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Latino farmworkers say they lied out of fear of ALRB retaliation

Latino farmworkers who testified before a state administrative tribunal say they lied because they feared that California authorities would retaliate against them if they told the truth. Judge Mark R. Soble of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) said in his September 17 ruling that the farmworkers admitted lying because they either didn’t trust the ALRB lawyers, or were afraid the ALRB would call the police or immigration authorities. In his September 17 ruling – in which Soble denied the…

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Former ALRB judge called present ALRB lawyer Arciniega a ‘union agent’

A legal activist once described by an ALRB judge as a “union agent” is now a top ALRB attorney. “And with the recent shakeups in the ALRB general counsel’s office that resulted in the sackings and sudden resignations of top lawyers, people are wondering why Arciniega remains on the job,” Katy Grimes writes in Flash Report. “The lawyer has come a long way since getting her law degree as an ‘apprentice’ of longtime UFW lawyer Barbara Macri-Ortiz, who in fact…

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Allegations of bias dog Silas Shawver as he leaves ALRB

As Silas Shawver leaves the ALRB under a cloud – following the sacking of his boss, Sylvia Torres-Guillen – continued allegations of bias continue to mount. An exchange of correspondence between labor attorney Paul J. Bauer and Shawver show a hailstorm of acrimony – and a pile of carefully organized evidence that remove all doubt about Shawver’s potentially illegal bias in favor of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. The original correspondence takes up six pages (available here Bauer letter to…

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Silas Shawver leaves ALRB under a cloud

Silas Shawver, the union activist who led efforts in the San Joaquin Valley to battle farmworkers who didn’t want to be forced to join the UFW, is out at the ALRB. Word on social media is that Shawver has found a new job at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). According to its website, “In 1980, the DFEH was established as an independent department charged with enforcing California’s comprehensive employment, housing, public accommodations and public service non-discrimination…

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Fresno Bee runs page-one story on ALRB bias toward union

In a landmark development, the Fresno Bee has run a page-one story about ALRB bias toward the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. The story is important because it shows that bias complaints against ALRB go beyond Gerawan Farming and the farmworkers – and because of the many questions that ALRB refused to answer. Just as PickJustice.com has been saying, the controversy centers on disgraced ALRB general counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen, who was removed from office suddenly last June. However, the Fresno Bee…

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ALRB’s acting general counsel chooses his words very carefully

The interim replacement for disgraced former ALRB general counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen won’t defend his predecessor to journalists – but he won’t exactly say that the ALRB is in fact impartial as the law requires. When the Fresno Bee asked Mark Woo-Sam, ALRB Acting General Counsel, if his state agency was in fact acting impartially as required by state law, Woo-Sam didn’t say yes or no. Instead, Woo-Sam cited what the law requires, and then said that the ALRB takes that…

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Is ALRB impartial? This video tells who’s who

Jessica Arciniega Alegria De La Cruz and Silas Shawver are in Cahoots at the ALRB

Key members of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) staff have a revolving door relationship with the United Farmworkers (UFW) union. Their bias is in direct violation of state law, which requires the ALRB to be impartial. These revolving-door staff lawyers have been major players in the controversial, expensive, and possibly illegal ALRB prevention of farmworkers from having their votes counted to decertify the UFW. These cronies move between the union and the state agency taking care of union…

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ALRB lawyers go on record about their “impartiality”

The ALRB’s top activist lawyers went on the record about their “impartiality” that the law requires. General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen and Assistant General Counsel Silas Shawver made some brief comments published in CalWatchdog. They were asked about the ALRB’s legal mandate to be “impartial” between employers and unions when defending farmworkers. Torres-Guillen was asked if the “union activists who have been hired as ALRB attorneys” might compromise the impartiality of the ALRB as a whole. Torres-Guillen answered, “Oh, I don’t…

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Credibility GONE: ALRB won’t probe case of ex-UFW organizer who said union coached workers to lie

The ALRB’s credibility is completely gone, with the revelation that a former UFW organizer testified that the union constructed lies to dupe the ALRB – and the ALRB’s own lawyers witnessed the admission and did nothing. The sensational admission, under oath, occurred in January, 2015, in the presence of ALRB attorneys and an ALRB judge – all of whom work under ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen. Even more, when a farmworker who read the transcript in March filed a complaint…

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UFW organizer coached workers to lie to discredit de-certification vote

A former UFW organizer has testified in court that he coached Gerawan farmworkers to lie in order to undermine the vote to de-certify the union. The organizer said he died so on instructions from the union’s leadership. The former union organizer reportedly is in hiding for fear of retaliation from the UFW and the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). “The ALRB used lies manufactured by the UFW labor union to put a halt to the Gerawan farm workers’ efforts…

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