Silas Shawver of the ALRB Jumps For The UFW!

Silas Shawver Jumps For The UFW

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board is an independent governing body that oversees relations between California Central Valley farmers and the United Farmworkers of America, the union that wants to represent them. The ALRB is supposed to be unbiased. But if that’s so, WHY is Silas Shawver, their regional director, seen here wearing a UFW tshirt? Is it a harmless mistake? Considering that Mr. Shawver is pushing to destroy ballots in the farmworker’s election to decertify the union, it’s more likely…

Continue reading

Court says ALRB’s forcible mediation against workers is unconstitutional

In a historic decision, a three-judge California appeals court struck down the section of state law that allows the ALRB to force UFW contracts on farmworkers. That section of the law, the judges said, is unconstitutional. The judges agreed with the employer, Gerawan Farming, that the ALRB should have allowed it to prove that the UFW had abandoned its thousands of members for years. “More fundamentally,” the judges ruled, “we agree with Gerawan’s constitutional arguments that the MMC [mandatory mediation…

Continue reading

ALRB acts as UFW enforcer in Gerawan farmworkers’ case

Government agency informs workers of voting rights then repeatedly blocks election Having been abandoned by the UFW for more than 20 years, Gerawan farmworkers resisted when the union resurfaced in 2012, demanding that they be fired unless they fork over 3 percent of their pay. To the farmworkers, this was an unfair labor practice (ULP) – just the kind of issue the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) was created to investigate and prosecute. Instead, the ALRB’s new general counsel, Sylvia…

Continue reading

ALRB can double UFW’s payroll by taking Gerawan workers’ 3%

By forcing Gerawan farm workers to pay 3 percent of their gross wages to the union, the ALRB would be able to double the UFW’s annual payroll. In documents it filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, UFW reported that it has an annual payroll of $3.2 million. Some of its top executives have been on the UFW payroll for 40 years or more – guaranteed jobs for life. By forcing an estimated 5,000 Gerawan farm laborers to pay 3…

Continue reading

Workers smash ALRB piñata at Fresno courthouse

Smashing a piñata resembling the ALRB safe that contains their un-counted ballots, hundreds of farm workers demanded again that ALRB count their votes. A handful of United Farm Workers (UFW) organizers showed up to oppose the farm workers. The workers held the April 14 demonstration in front of the California appeals court in Fresno, which was holding a hearing about the joint ALRB-UFW attempt to impose a contract on them. The contract would take more than $3 million a year from…

Continue reading

ALRB’s Shawver disregards sworn petition of 800 farm workers

The ALRB’s Visalia representative disregarded the petition of 800 farm workers, submitted under penalty of perjury, and issued a new complaint to prevent them from having their votes counted. Shawver issues new complaint “The Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) continues to try to deny the farmworkers at Gerawan Farms their right to have their votes counted,” FarmWorkerRights.com reports. “Today, [ALRB] issued a new complaint alleging unfair labor practices at the farm, which they claim invalidate the votes the workers cast…

Continue reading

800 workers call ALRB Visalia office a ‘bully’

Eight hundred farm workers converged on the ALRB office in Visalia, demanding that the ALRB count the votes the workers’ cast in November, 2013, on whether or not to unionize, and calling the government entity a “bully.” Covering the protest, the Visalia Times-Delta reports, “The workers had an up or down vote last year whether to leave the union, but the results of that vote have not yet been counted by the ALRB. “Many of Gerawan’s workers have traveled up…

Continue reading

Federal judge OK’s farm worker suit against ALRB bullying

A federal judge has given the green light for beleaguered farm workers to sue the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to stop ALRB bullying. U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill ruled in August that a suit led by Gerawan farm worker Silvia Lopez should proceed on First Amendment grounds. Lopez alleges that the ALRB is violating her Constitutional right to freedom of association. Judge O’Neill sits on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Lopez had filed…

Continue reading

Federal court denies Shawver’s request for immunity

ALRB Regional Director Silas Shawver lost his request for immunity from a lawsuit by a Mexican-American farm worker. A federal judge denied Shawver’s immunity request in July. (Click here for the judge’s memorandum.) Shawver asked the US District Court for the Eastern District of California for “quasi-prosecutorial immunity” so that he could be removed as a defendant from a lawsuit alleging he violated the Constitutional rights of Central Valley farm workers. Gerawan farm worker Silvia Lopez filed suit against the Agricultural…

Continue reading

Shawver admits ALRB hasn’t counted worker ballots & has no plan to do so

The ALRB admits that it has not counted the ballots of thousands of Central Valley farm workers, and that it has no timeline for doing so. ALRB field representative Silas Shawver admitted this on Reason.tv. The ballots, he said, are locked away in a safe. So when will the ALRB count the workers votes? Says Shawver, “Um, there hasn’t been a timeline that’s set.” In the video, Shawver claims that his office provides “an orderly way in which workers can…

Continue reading

ALRB overrules Shawver’s attempt to stop workers from voting

In a sharp rebuke to its own regional director Silas Shawver, the ALRB issued an order to stop Shawver from blocking Gerawan farm workers’ vote on whether to unionize. The ALRB noted that on October 25, farm worker Silvia Lopez filed a petition to decertify the United Farm Workers (UFW), which had not worked to represent the workers in more than 20 years. Three days after Lopez filed her motion, the ALRB observed in court, “the Regional Director [Silas Shawver]…

Continue reading

Court rips Shawver, suspects ALRB is ‘in cahoots’

A California Superior Court has found that the state official immediately responsible for blocking a count of farm workers’ votes has exceeded his authority, and says he suspects the official is “in cahoots.” Judge Jeffrey Y. Hamilton, Jr., of the California Superior Court in Fresno, found on August 21 that Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) lawyer Silas Shawver committed an “overreach” of authority by denying workers the right for their votes to be counted. “So the Court is very suspect…

Continue reading